International children’s charity World Vision has warned coronavirus could put an extra 5 million girls at risk of an early, enforced marriage. Deepening poverty caused by pandemic adds financial burdens onto families, causing them to marry daughters early. A survival mechanism to reduce the number of children to support.
Closure of schools, health care facilities leaves girls increasingly vulnerable. Even post-COVID it’s likely many girls will not go back to school. Could undo decades of good work to end the malpractice, encourage education for girls. Working on the ground to combat child marriages is harder to operate during lockdowns.
Pandemic is making it difficult for girls to access reproductive health services, as well. Leading to a rise in risky teenage pregnancies, as a result of child marriages. Worldwide, an estimated 12 million girls are married each year before the age of 18 – 1 girl every 3 seconds.
Absolutely scary statistics. Hope we can make clear, collective, conscious, consistent efforts to protect, ensure a better, brighter future for our girls.