Child access to economic opportunities, such as holding a

Child marriage isn’t just a problem in third world countries but also in developing countries, such as Uganda, Ethiopia, India and Bangladesh. It is a severe problem that many women and young girls face every day. Marriage without consent is when two individuals are forcefully married without his or her permission. Statistics show that one in three girls are married by the age of eighteen and one in nine before fifteen in underdeveloped countries.  In developing countries, one of the main causes of death among adolescent girls is childbirth, which is the result of early and/or forced marriage.  These young brides often suffer from domestic violence and are more vulnerable to developing HIV or AIDS. These girls tend to drop-out of school at a younger age and have little access to economic opportunities, such as holding a job.                Early and forced marriages occur for a number of reasons. These include gender inequality, poverty, economics and cultural tradition. For some communities, marrying their daughter off when they are young is much easier financially by shifting the economic burden to the husband’s family. Also, sometimes the two families pay dowries for their bride and groom. When the bride’s family pays the groom’s, they often get to pay less since the bride is young and uneducated.             One of the most  problematic issues of child marriage is that it is the main cause of pregnancy in adolescence. Ninety percent of child or teen pregnancies in the world are from girls who are already married. Girls’ lives are also put at risk during pregnancy and childbirth. Girls who give birth between the ages of fifteen and nineteen have a greater chance of dying than girls who are in their twenties or older. If the young women survives, she is still prone to obstetric fistula. While curable, the women are weakened due to obstructed labor and prolonged child birth. As well as being dangerous to the mother, early pregnancies can also be harmful to the babies of child brides. Babies are more likely to be stillborn or die in the first week of their life and death rates are a whole fifty percent higher in mothers who gave birth under the age of twenty than those who gave birth later. Also, young girls who are married are mostly unable to get family planning or prenatal health services when they absolutely need it. Their husbands may be opposed to the idea or might not know the services exist.  Forestalling child marriage can help put an end to maternal and infant mortality. If girls have access to health services and family planning it is easier for them to decide if or when they should have children. Developing countries are contributing to the problem by failing to implement legal age marriage laws and working on giving girls an education to keep them from having an early and forced marriage. In order for the practice of child marriage to decrease, developing countries need to change their cultural and social norms and improve their economic conditions.  For example, many developing countries that practice child marriage are in a cycle of poverty. Families who are extremely poor find it easier financially to marry off their daughters so that there’s one less person to feed, clothe, and take care of. Since the daughter, or son in some cases, is married at such a young age, they are sometimes never able to get an education or find work, so they stay poor for their whole lives. They then have no choice but to do the same for their children and so the cycle continues. If young people were given an education, similar to young people in developed countries, they too could enjoy job opportunities and help end this cycle of poverty.   Developed countries boast high graduation rates and protect their young from child marriage by upholding age eighteen as the legal age of marriage. Becoming a child bride is not something young people fear in developed nations; however,  these governments do very little to help enforce laws for developing countries.  The developed countries have established a few charities and gathered some donations to help the developing countries.. Although these organizations help, they are not precisely targeted at   preventing child marriage which is what the issue needs.  More awareness and aid is needed to help solve this problem. The United Nations has done many things to try to resolve or decline child marriage. UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) is working with governments and others to provide programs for girls who have already been married or at a high risk of having an early marriage. “The report calls on governments and leaders to end child marriage by: Enacting and enforcing national laws that raise the age of marriage to 18, for both girls and boys. Using data to identify and target geographic “hotspots” – areas with high proportions and numbers of girls at risk of child marriage. Expanding prevention programmes that empower girls at risk of child marriage and address the root causes underlying the practice. Mitigating the harmful impact of child marriage on girls.” http://www.unfpa.org/end-child-marriage. October 16th, 2013, the United Nations Human Rights Council developed a verdict to end child marriage. The resolution showed that child marriage contravened many human privileges and should be discussed in the post-2015 development agenda. Ethiopia is committed to end child marriage even though they have some of the highest rates of early marriage. “The Ethiopian government has undertaken a range of legal, institutional and strategic measures.” https://www.unicef.org/ethiopia/Evidence_Review.pdf. This is Ethiopia’s position because it is developing country, where poverty is common. The people in Ethiopia are trapped in a cycle of poverty and since child marriage is shaped by social, cultural, economic and religious traditions it permeates communities and makes it nearly impossible to create a new way of living. To break this continuous cycle, it would take a substantial amount of change. Like the Ethiopian government, France is in favor of ending child marriage. The French Development Agency has already set up assistance programs that are specifically for girls who are already married and for preventing child marriage. France has also donated a generous amount of money to Bangladesh: “Our country is an important donor to Bangladesh: in 2013, France gave more than € 50 million in aid to Bangladesh.” https://www.hrw.org/news/2015/06/09/france-can-help-end-child-marriage-bangladesh. The Ugandan government wants to stop or even reduce child marriage but has had a hard time even placing a minimum legal marriage age. As a result, the Ministry of Health partnered with the United Nations Population Fund to reduce child marriage by 10 percent in five years.           Since poverty, cultural beliefs, and social norms are the key factors of why child marriage is a regular practice in many countries, it is a very complex problem.  It requires the involvement of  the developed world. To solve the issue of early and forced marriage, the United Nations need to find ways to keep girls in school so they can avoid becoming child brides. To do this, they will need outside donors. By starting charities and raising awareness to others in developed countries, the United Nations can help the countries that suffer the most from child marriage.   If more and more girls are given a high school or higher education, the number of child marriages would be significantly less. But for girls who are already married or just can’t stay in school because of financial issues, there needs to be a way to prevent pregnancies in these young girls. Also, the UN can invest in programs that teach married girls about reproductive health and offer family planning to avoid pregnancies when the girls are still very young.

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