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ChildFund’s President Speaks Out Against Child Marriage

Girls at school

Improving girls’ access to quality schooling is an effective way to prolong the period of time when a girl is unavailable for marriage.

Photo: Jake Lyell Photography

An estimated 10 million girls, age 13 and younger, are married each year worldwide with little or no say in the matter, according to the Population Council. That’s more than 25,000 girls every day — 19 per minute.

At the Eradicate Forced and Early Marriages: 2011 International Congress for the World Campaign, Oct. 26-28, ChildFund President and CEO Anne Lynam Goddard will discuss “Disrupting Poverty by Addressing Child Marriages.” She will speak during the benefit gala, which is being held at the University of Southern California.

The link between poverty and child marriage cannot be overemphasized, Goddard notes. At the congress, she will talk about factors that influence child marriage rates and ways to address these factors. “Disruption is not fast, it is not easy — but it is doable,” Goddard says.

Several African first ladies and UN agencies will be participating in the international conference panel discussions and case studies, with the goal of developing strategies to end forced and early marriage.

For more information, visit the 2011 International Congress website.

Read Voice of America interview with ChildFund President and CEO Anne Lynam Goddard

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