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Child Marriage: the facts
- An estimated 10 million girls aged under 18 are married worldwide each year.
- In the developing world, one in seven girls is married before her 15th birthday and some child brides are as young as eight or nine.
- An estimated 3,500 girls under 15 become child brides every day. Pregnancy is the leading cause of death among them.
- Girls under 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their 20s. Girls aged 15-19 are twice as likely to die.
- Girls under 18 are at much higher risk of pregnancy-related injuries such as fistulas.
- Child brides are at greater risk of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases than unmarried, sexually active girls of the same age.
- The children of child brides are 60% more likely to die before their first birthday than the children of mothers who are over 19.
- Even if the child survives, he or she is more likely to suffer from low birth weight, under nutrition and late physical and cognitive development.
- Child brides are almost always forced to leave school when, or before, they get married.
(Sources: Unicef, White Ribbon Alliance, Girls Not Brides, World Vision)