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If all girls completed secondary school, more than 50 million child marriages could be prevented; says Save the Children analysis

New Delhi | October | 11, 2018 :: Fifty million child marriages could be prevented by 2030 if all girls around the world finished secondary school, new analysis by Save the Children reveals.

The critical role that education plays, and will continue to play, in reducing child marriage rates has been outlined in a new briefing, Working Together to End Child Marriage.
The relationship between child marriage and education is two-way. Child marriage is one of the leading reasons for school drop-out in low-income countries. At the same time girls who are out-of-school are exposed to increased risk factors for child marriage; with many living in insecure environments, parents often feel that that marrying their daughters will protect from harm or the stigma associated with having  a relationship or falling pregnant outside of marriage.
The briefing highlights the impact that universal education could have, as well as the huge amount of progress still needed to end child marriage and ensure all girls are able to complete secondary education. In addition, it calls on world leaders to prioritise girls’ access to health and protection programmes to help end child marriage.
The briefing also reveals that:
 While an estimated 25 million child marriages have been prevented over the past decade, no
developing country[ii] is currently on track to meet the UN goal of wiping out the practice by
2030.
 Meanwhile, based on current trends:
o universal upper secondary school completion will not be achieved before 2084 – more
than 50 years off target;
o according to the current trend, 134 million girls will marry between 2018 and 2030.
Almost 10 million girls will marry in 2030 alone, and more than two million of those
marriages will involve girls under 15 years of age;
 Last year, 21% of women between 20 and 24 years globally were married or in a union before
the age of 18.
 A recent Save the Children study in Niger – which has the highest rates of child marriage in the world – also found that girls who do not attend school are more at risk of child marriage, early pregnancy, and being malnourished.
Bidisha Pillai, CEO, Save the Children in India, said “Out of every 28 child marriages that occur per minute in the world, more than two take place in India. Gender disparity in child marriage is clear when we look at the absolute share of males and females in the population married below 18 years. Out of these 100 million child marriages, 85 million are girls, constituting 83 per cent of the total child marriages. The Global End of Childhood Index, released earlier this year, indicated that more than one billion children live in countries plagued

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