Target: President of the United States, Barack Obama
Goal: Urge President Obama to push his promise of ending child marriage with an Executive Order.
Young girls and women are the most vulnerable to contracting HIV, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Underage brides are particularly at risk, most of whom are often forced into marriage by their families. Sadly, child marriages still exist in developing countries such as Uganda, where young girls and women are coerced into a marriage that could negatively affect their health, education, social life, and future. Urge President Barack Obama to increase efforts to help put a stop to child marriage worldwide.
Ten percent of girls in Uganda are married by the age of 15, according to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and 40 percent are married by the age of 18. Another study by UNFPA, shows that 1-in-4 girls in Uganda is either pregnant or already a mother.
A press release by UNICEF shows that, globally, there are around 39,000 child marriages each day and 14.2 million each year. That is a total of approximately 140 million child marriages from 2011-2020. Most of these marriages, however, are unavoidable as the disappointment from their parents, the risk of abuse, and even death for turning down a marriage is common.
President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act (VAWA) in March 2013 and promised to end child marriage worldwide. Correspondingly, the State Department is required to develop and execute a thorough plan to end child marriage.
Since child marriage is still prominent, the government must be reminded of the alarming rates of child marriage that nearly guarantees HIV and/or abuse for young girls and women all over the world. Sign the petition below to urge President Obama to push his promise of a comprehensive strategy for ending child marriage with an Executive Order.
Dear President Obama,
There are an alarming 39,000 child marriages each day and 14.2 million each year. It has also been established that these forced marriages subject young girls and women to HIV, abuse, and even death. Health, education, social life, and future are other things that can be stripped away by child marriages. This inadmissible human rights violation is happening at a global scale and should be stopped immediately.
That being said, a full force action of the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act is long overdue. Millions of young girls and women have already been subjected to child marriages, and many tragic stories have unfolded because of this clear violation of an individual’s rights. We ask that you sign an Executive Order pushing for an interagency approach to end child marriages, and save more young women from being forced into a potentially life-threatening situation.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: SAM Nasim