Prepare to get incredibly bummed out: a new report indicates a young girl becomes a bride every seven seconds.
Save the Children released its study, “Every Last Girl,” in early October, 2016.
The study ranked 144 countries “from the best to the worst in which to be a girl,” CNN reports.
The list looked at the rates of child marriage, school, teen pregnancy, and more.
“The worst countries in which to be a girl are Somalia, Mali, Central African Republic, Chad and Niger, which all ranked at the bottom of the Girls’ Opportunity Index,” CNN adds.
“Countries at the top include Sweden, Finland, Norway, Netherlands, and Belgium.
The United States comes in at 32. India has the highest number of child marriages of any country, partly owing to the large size of its population. In 2006, around 24.6 million females were married under the age of 18, according to the report.”
The girls, typically 15 and younger, are denied their childhood as marrying early also can hinder girls’ chances to learn.
“Girls who marry too early often cant attend school, and are more likely to face domestic violence, abuse, and rape,” Save the Children International CEO Helle Thorning-Schmidt, says.
“They also bear children before their bodies are fully prepared, which can have devastating consequences on their and their baby’s health.”
The study also discovered that girls, some as young as ten years old, are often married off to much older men.
How it happens and a solution
Girls who live in high conflict zones and who are surrounded by poverty and humanitarian crises are more at risk for becoming child brides. It has grabbed the attention of U.S. first lady Michelle Obama.
Mrs. Obama has launched a mission “to help young women achieve their potential through Let Girls Learn,” CNN reports.
Mrs. Obama, Meryl Streep, Freida Pinto, and Isha Sesay recently traveled to Morocco and Liberia on behalf of Save the Children.
Since the trip, a documentary about the group’s travels aired on CNN. Mrs. Obama also wrote an essay about the cause.
We hope that after the Obamas leave the White House the new president and first spouse will still support this important issue.
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