About half of the world’s girls including India are getting married before the age of 18 says report given by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) said. The report, ‘Covid-19: A threat to progress against child marriage’, released on International Women’s Day says that 650 million girls and women alive today got married before 18 and about half of them are in Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, India and Nigeria. “In the last ten years, the proportion of young women were married as children had decreased by 15 per cent, from nearly 1 in 4 to 1 in 5, the equivalent of some 25 million marriages averted, a gain that is now under threat,” report said.
The report said that closing of schools, economic stress, parental deaths and pregnancies due to the covid 19 pandemic rose the risk of child marriage.
“Covid-19 has made an already difficult situation for millions of girls even worse. Shuttered schools, isolation from friends and support networks, and rising poverty have added fuel to a fire the world was already struggling to put out. But we can and we must extinguish child marriage,” said Unicef’s executive director Henrietta Fore .