Child marriage is one of the most harmful traditional practices for girls, undermining their chances for education and health, illustrated in a short video “Too Young to Wed”[i] and opposed by the global coalition of hundreds of organizations called “Girls Not Brides.” Globally, a girl marries before she is 15 every seven seconds, according to Save the Children. Many don’t realized it’s a problem in the US, especially in certain states like Idado and Kentucky, often used to prevent legal action about rape of a minor or in religious fundamentalist families.[ii] When a Girl Scout in New Hampshire heard that a 13-year-old girl was allowed to marry in her state, she found a legislator to sponsor a bill to raise the age of marriage from 13 to 18. Republican legislators made fun of Cassandra Levesque’s “Girl Scout project” and killed the bill.
A group of world leaders called The Elders founded an organization in 2011 to lobby for girls’ rights.[iii]
[ii] Nicholas Krisof, “11 Years Old, a Mom, and Pushed to Marry Her Rapist in Florida,” New York Times, May 26, 2017.https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/26/opinion/sunday/it-was-forced-on-me-child-marriage-in-the-us.html?emc=edit_th_20170528&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=68143430