End Child Marriage In New York

UPDATE: On February 28, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that he would support reform on the age of marriage. On March 7, the New York Senate unanimously passed S.4407. The bill now must be passed by the Assembly and signed by the governor to become law. Please help us keep the pressure on!

Did you know 14-year-olds can legally marry in New York State? From 2001 to 2010, nearly 4,000 teenagers under 18 married in New York. Research strongly links child marriage with dropping out of school, poverty, and mental and physical health problems. It is time something was done! This month, a new bill to crack down on child marriage was introduced in New York's state legislature. Please email Assembly Speaker Heastie & Assembly Member Weinstein to tell them to support the bill.

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Child Marriage in Nepal

Many children in Nepal are seeing their futures stolen from them by child marriage. Nepal’s government promises reform, but in towns and villages across the country, nothing has changed.

The Problem: 37 percent of girls marry by 18 and 10 percent marry before turning 15. It’s common for boys to marry, too. Girls are more likely than boys to do child labor. But when girls work, they miss school, and being out of school makes them more likely to be married off. A growing number of children are choosing to elope, often to escape deprivation or abuse. Child marriage often results in denial of education, serious health risks from early pregnancy, and domestic abuse.

Our Advocacy: Nepal pledged to end child marriage by 2030. We’re asking the government to stop dragging its heels on creating an effective plan to end the practice.


Child Marriage in Tanzania

The Problem: Almost two out of every 5 girls are married before 18. Bride price perpetuates the practice. Married girls can be expelled from school and pregnant girls are often forced to drop out.

Our Advocacy: A court recently ruled that Tanzania must raise the legal marrying age to 18, but the government has appealed the ruling. We want the government to make 18 the minimum marriage age for girls and boys. We want schools to stop mandatory pregnancy testing, and we are pushing for all girls to have access to education.

ACT NOW: (English & Swahili)

Child Marriage in Bangladesh

The Bangladesh government is yet to take sufficient steps to end child marriage, in spite of promises to do so. Instead, in steps in the wrong direction, after her July 2014 pledge to end child marriage by 2041, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina attempted to lower the age of marriage for girls from 18 to 16 years old, raising serious doubts about her commitment.

The Problem: 52 percent of girls marry by age 18, and 18 percent before turning 15. Costs associated with education – like books and uniforms – cause girls to drop out of school, which drives child marriage. Local officials accept bribes to fake the age of child brides.

Our Advocacy: Bangladesh wants to end marriage before the age of 15 by 2021 and before age 18 by 2041. We want the government to to step away from a plan to lower girls’ marrying age from 18. We also want it to finish its long-promised action plan to end child marriage.


Child Marriage in Zimbabwe

Child marriage in Africa often ends a girl’s education, exposes her to domestic violence and grave health risks from early childbearing and HIV, and traps her in poverty.

The Problem: Nearly one-third of girls in Zimbabwe marry before their 18th birthday. Bride price, or the practice of a man paying a woman or girl’s family money or cattle to marry their daughter, fuels this.  

Our Advocacy: In positive news, the government made 18 the new marriage age for girls and boys, and there is a proposed law banning bride price for girls under 18.  We want Zimbabwe to repeal all remaining laws that allow for child marriage, and to create an action plan to stop child marriage.