Graduate Women International, and our own affiliate, Women Graduates-USA, have long had a public policy position that opposes child marriages around the world. According to a recent report by UNICEF there has been a downward trend of such marriages, especially in Asia, but there are still an estimated 12 million child marriages each year.
According to the report, globally, one in five women are married before they turn 18 years old. A decade ago, the rate had been one in four. However, one in three recently married child brides are now in sub-Saharan Africa, compared to one in five a decade ago.
Child marriages are legal in every state in the United States, apparently due to a variety of State laws that provide exceptions to the laws that do set a legal age.
For additional details, click here to read the report.