Nepal's Girl Summit

On March 23, the Nepal government had a “Girl Summit,” with speakers including the country’s president and the United Kingdom’s Prince Harry, a follow-up to the first summit held in London in July 2014. They have started a global effort to end child marriage and female genital mutilation. Child marriage is an urgent issue in Nepal, where 41 percent of girls marry before age 18 and 10 percent are married by 15. Boys also often marry young in Nepal. In late 2015, Human Rights Watch interviewed married children in 14 of Nepal’s 75 districts. Many married girls they interviewed had never even attended school, often because they worked from a very young age. Poverty drives child marriages, but social pressures and harmful practices including beliefs about virginity and menstruation also have their part in it. Some of the sad but all too true consequences of child marriage are that both girls and boys usually stopped going to school after marriage. Domestic violence becomes common which is also seen to be more common for child marriages than for those of older people. Some of the most painful consequences are girls giving birth before their bodies are mature; too many girls had watch their babies die or suffer serious health problems themselves. What can be done to cut down child marriage around the world? What would you suggest for leaders to point out? Maybe funding girl's education, or even just help with education overall so that maybe they won't leave school.

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