Child Marriage Is Rooted In Gender Inequality, Advocates Say
In 2012, in Dosso, Niger, a 13-year-old girl named Mariama discovered that she was to be married in a few days. She was sad and afraid and could not eat or sleep. She didn’t want to be married, but her mother insisted thinking it was the best way to protect her, Plan International, an organization that works to advance children’s rights and equality in the world, reported in a story and video. Child marriage is a complicated. But child marriage isn’t just something that happens in faraway countries like Niger, it is happening here in the United States, in states such as Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Delaware, and even here in Connecticut. From 2000-2010, there were an estimated 248,000 child marriages in the U.S., according to Unchained at Last, an organization dedicated to ending forced and child marriage in the U.S. In Connecticut, 980 minors were married, the youngest a 14-year-old, according to data on Unchainedatlast.org
Each state has its own legal age rule, in Connecticut, child marriage is prohibited for anyone 16 and younger.