Teenagers in North Carolina Call For an End to Child Marriage

We are two high school seniors, both age 17, from Chatham County, North Carolina. These days we split our time between online school, our extracurriculars and hanging out with friends. Marriage is the last thing on our minds.

Instead of leaving it to adults to say what is and is not in our best interest, let’s tell them ourselves: End child marriage.

Imagining a World Where Women Exercise Freedoms and Realize Their Rights

If we traced mine or any woman’s or girls’ life trajectory, we would find unique experiences and challenges, barriers that we encounter for the mere reasons of our identity. My girlhood in conflict is just one example, one story.

One of the most egregious examples of gender-based violence is child, early and forced marriage. How does one attain her freedoms and rights if she is forced to marry?

COVID-19 Threatens Decades of Progress on Gender Equality. This World Children’s Day, We Must Fight Back.

COVID-19 has left no one untouched, but it has had an especially pernicious impact on girls—most particularly those from already marginalized communities.

From a dramatic rise in sex trafficking in Malawi, to spiraling rates of sexual violence in India, from subversive restrictions on access to abortion in the U.S. to an increase in teen pregnancy and female genital mutilation in Kenya, it is clear that COVID-19 is an existential threat to gender equality.

There’s a Simple Solution to End Child Marriage in North Carolina

New studies by the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) reveal the grim consequences of child marriage in the U.S., which occurs at particularly high rates in North Carolina. North Carolina is becoming a common destination for adults to take children when their marriage is illegal in their home states. Between 2000 and 2015, almost 9,000 minors were listed on marriage license applications in North Carolina.

But there’s a simple solution: Set the minimum age of marriage at 18, without exceptions.