Child marriage

The three Nigerian school girls who want to put an end to child marriage

They started a petition to change the constitution that allows men to marry underage girls
Three Nigerian school girls want to put an end to child marriage in their country. Susan Ubogu, Temitayo Asuni and Kudirat Abiola started a petition to change the legal loopholes in the constitution that allows men to marry underage girls. According to the Unicef, more than a third of girls in Nigeria end up in child marriages, and with 22 million married before the age of 18, the nation has among the highest number of child brides in Africa. Newsday spoke to 16 year old Susan Ubogu who is one of the teenage activists.

(Photo: Susan Ubogu, Temitayo Asuni and Kudirat Abiola. Credit: itsneveryourfault)

The teenager married too many times to count

A teenager being offered multiple wedding rings
BBC

A BBC investigation has uncovered a secret world of sexual exploitation of children and young women by religious figures in Iraq.

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'It's Never Your Fault': The Nigerian teens aiming to end child marriage
These Nigerian teens want to end child marriage in Nigeria, with the "It's Never Your Fault" campaign.

Ethiopia vows to root out child marriage and female genital mutilation

The age-old practices destroy the life of millions of girls.
One in every five girls below the age of 18 is married in Ethiopia, according to the United Nations.

It’s in this context that Ethiopia has launched a plan to end both child marriage and Female Genital Mutilation in 2024.

“This is an achievable target, because we have not started from scratch,” Ethiopia's state minister for Women’s Affairs, Semenye Wube has told BBC Newsday.

(Picture: Young woman Taketu who was forced to get married, aged 14. Credit:Jessica Lea/Department for International Development)
Solar-powered lamps give girls independence and stop them becoming child brides
Girls in Ethiopia are being given solar lamps to help stop child marriage and keep them in school.

America's Child Brides

The tense argument on child marriage in the USA.
A tense debate is taking place in states across America. At what age should someone be allowed to marry? Currently in 48 out of 50 states a child can marry, usually with parental consent or a judge's discretion. In 17 states there's no minimum age meaning in theory a two year old could marry. But there's a campaign to change the law and raise the minimum age of marriage to 18 without exceptions across all American states. But changing the laws state by state is not as easy as one may think. There's resistance and raising the minimum age to 18 has often been blocked by legislators.     

Jane O'Brien speaks to child brides, the campaigners pushing to make it illegal and the people who say that the laws don't need to change. 

Producer: Rajeev Gupta
Editor: Amanda Hancox
India election 2019: 'I want child marriage to end'
Saidabo Sayyad says her first vote will go to a politician who ends child marriage in India.
Why Oromo baby girls can be engaged on the day they are born
The Oromo community in Kenya's Tana region says the tradition gives girls security for the future.