Over the next 10 years, more than 100 million girls will be married against their will in developing worlds. While the practice of child marriage is against the law, countries in Southern Asia and Africa lack the enforcement to protect young people. While some are boys, the majority of those affected are girls.
Can you imagine paying a debt or ending a dispute by handing over your nine-year-old daughter to be married? It may not sound like the storybook wedding you dreamed of for your daughter, but early and forced marriage is the reality in places where girls and women have few rights and no recourse.
If you live in an industrialised country, it may shock you to learn that worldwide, about 1,000 women die every day due to complications of pregnancy or childbirth. Ninety-nine percent of these deaths occur in developing countries.
In addition to the risk of death, each year about 10 million women suffer injury, infection, or disease following childbirth, according to World Health Organization (WHO). The physical and emotional toll can last a lifetime.