One in every three girls in the developing world is married by the age of 18. One in seven marries before they reach the age of 15.
Early and forced marriage is most prevalent where poverty, birth and death rates are high, there is greater incidence of conflict and civil strife and lower levels of overall development, including schooling, employment and healthcare.
Early and forced marriage discriminates against girls and abuses their rights on an unimaginable scale. In this report, Plan UK calls upon the UK Government to increase its efforts to end early and forced marriage through enhanced cooperation across Whitehall, an increase in Department for International Development (DFID) programming in developing countries, and by using its influence to push for effective international policy and action.
Plan UK believes that improving education and school retention for girls in the poorest countries plays a crucial role in eliminating early and forced marriage. Educated girls are more likely to have the skills, knowledge and confidence to claim their rights.
Supporting girls to enroll in school and benefit from free, compulsory basic education (a minimum of nine years), in an environment that supports them to realise their rights, enables them to broaden their choices in life.
This in turn works towards achieving the Education for All and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Source: Plan International