Girls Not Brides: Ending Child Marriage

by Brittany Houlihan

Every year, an estimated 10 million girls under the age of 18 are forcibly married. It’s a scary statistic–child brides are far more likely to experience domestic violence, birth complications, and sexually transmitted infections.

The Elders, an independent group of global leaders headed by Nelson Mandela, is working to unite human-rights organizations across the globe to help end child marriage. This effort, called Girls Not Brides, aims to “give a voice to girls who are at risk of child marriage, defend their rights to health and education, and to give them opportunities they need to fulfill their potential.”

Though nearly 25,000 young girls are married without their consent every day, ending this awful phenomenon is possible.  In fact, prominent activist Desmond Tutu believes it can be done within a generation. 

This video about their mission is worth watching:


Their website has a ton of information on the organizations involved and most importantly, what you can do to help.  As someone who absorbs an overwhelmingly large amount of media, I can see that the issue of child marriage and the need to end it isn’t as well known as it should be.  Check it out.


Photo by Stephanie Sinclair via

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