The global NGO wants the USA to take a leadership role in ending child marriage, which is linked to poor social progress for women in developing countries.
The United Nation’s first International Day of the Girl is the catalyst for the charity Care calling on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to increase political and financial commitments to end child marriage and support married adolescents.
The charity is calling for supporters to sign a petition with that aim.
“I encourage anyone interested in making a difference in the lives of the poor around the world to take part in this campaign,” said Erin Kennedy, of Care’s Gender and Empowerment Unit.
The charity is hoping the USA will take a leadership role in ending child marriage and supporting married adolescents.
Along with other humanitarian organisations the charity identifies empowering women as a key development priority. Enabling women with education, in particular, supports economic growth as women are shown to be capable workers, small business operators and community leaders who prioritise investment in their families and their communities.
“Early marriage is most prevalent in communities suffering deep, chronic poverty...” explains Care President Helene Gayle.
“Governments, aid organisations and donors need to deepen their understanding of the link between poverty and early marriage.”
In many of the world’s poorest countries, girls are more likely to marry before the age of 18 than finish secondary school. Becoming a child bride limits opportunities for social development, including access to education.
On International Girl Day NGOs are holding events around the world to promote solidarity with girls, and especially in areas where poverty and injustice is prevalent.
The charity Care is calling for more people to support its services in partnership with community orgs that empower adolescent girls with access to social and health services in developing countries, as well as knowledge of human rights.