Monday, September 12, 2011

Child Brides: Stolen Lives and Consequences

Little Bride
In December of 2010, the Senate voted unanimously to pass the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act. In February of 2011, Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) reintroduced the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act (S.414).  When discussing this piece of legislation Senator Durbin stated, “Tens of millions of women and girls around the world have lost their dignity, independence and lives due to child marriage. Child marriage denies these women and girls of an education, economic independence and is the root cause of many of the world’s most pressing development issues – HIV/ AIDS, child mortality, and abject poverty.” The International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act of 2011 seeks to “…reduce maternal and child mortality, reduce maternal illness, halt the transmission of HIV/AIDS [and] prevent gender-based violence.

The devastating effects of child marriage are too high a price for continued silence on the issue.

Effects of child marriages: Child brides are more likely than unmarried girls to die younger, suffer from health problems, live in poverty and remain illiterate.

 - Premature Pregnancy: Child brides almost always bear children before they are physically - or emotionally - ready.

- Maternal Mortality: Girls younger than 15 are five times more likely to die during child birth or pregnancy than older women. Pregnancy-related deaths are the leading cause of mortality for girls aged 15 to 19 worldwide.

- Infant Mortality: Mortality rates for babies born to mothers under age 20 are almost 75% higher than for children born to older mothers. The children that survive are more likely to be premature, have a low birth weight, and are more at risk for contracting HIV/AIDS.

Effects of child marriage contd...

No comments:

Post a Comment