Today is International Day of the Girl Child. I realize that the name of the event sounds a little off. I’ve been shaking my head about it all morning. But the sentiment behind this inaugural holiday to focus on the status of girls around the globe is extremely important. This year’s featured cause is ending child marriage, and it’s garnered a tremendous amount of support, as well as a pledge from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to end this horrible practice by the year 2030.
In honor of this important event, we wanted to let our readers know a bit more about child marriage, and why it’s a bigger problem that you might think. We collected some disturbing facts from the International Center for Research on Women, the Population Reference Bureau, Forward, and the State Department’s Office of Global Women’s Issues. To contrast the facts, we included pictures of what these young women should be spending their time doing: studying, playing, living normal teenage lives.