I was quite alarmed by new research on the economic impacts of child marriage released a few weeks ago in Washington by the World Bank and the International Center for Research on Women. I think this should be mandatory reading for advocates and legislators alike, as it could really help persuade governments to end this dreadful practice once and for all.
Ever since The Elders started looking into child marriage, I have been shocked by the statistics. Over 15 million girls a year (28 girls a minute!) are married before the age of 18. And some of these girls are as young as eight, 12 or 14.
The Elders were so outraged by this egregious human rights violation, they helped set up a global civil society partnership called Girls Not Brides. Now in its sixth year, it includes more than 800 member organisations in 95 countries, who are all working to end child marriage and enable girls to reach their full potential.