Pandemic puts half a million more girls at risk of child marriage

Pandemic puts half a million more girls at risk of child marriage
The report says 191,200 girls in South Asia will be disproportionately affected by the risk of increased child marriage this year. Source: Getty Images
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Daily US Times: According to a new report by the charity Save the Children, the coronavirus pandemic has put 500,000 more girls at risk of being forced into child marriage this year, reversing 25 years of progress that saw these early marriage rates decline.

12 million girls married each year before the global outbreak, now the charity warns that up to 2.5 million more girls could be at risk of child marriage over the next five years.

With up to 117 million children estimated to fall into poverty in this year, many will face pressure to work and help provide for their families.

In a press release, Inger Ashing, CEO of Save the Children International, said: “The pandemic means more families are being pushed into poverty, forcing many girls to work to support their families, to go without food, to become the main caregivers for sick family members, and to drop out of school — with far less of a chance than boys of ever returning.”

The charity wrote the coronavirus pandemic led to school closures and “experience during the Ebola outbreak suggests many girls will never return” to class due “to increasing pressure to work, risk of child marriage, bans on pregnant girls attending school, and lost contact with education.”

The report says 191,200 girls in South Asia will be disproportionately affected by the risk of increased child marriage this year.

It is followed by West and Central Africa, where 90,000 girls are at risk of child marriage Europe and Central Asia (37,200) and Latin America and the Caribbean (73,400).

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