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Valentine’s Day: Italy alongside UNFPA against forced and early marriages

NEW YORK, FEBRUARY 13 – On the eve of Valentine’s Day, the Italian MIssion to the UN relaunched the UNFPA campaign against early and forced marriages.

“Italy stands with UNFPA in this global campaign of awareness”, the Mission said on Twitter aiming at raising public awareness on a global phenomenon – one girl out of five marries before the age of 18 – that invests developing countries in particular, where this proportion doubles to 40%. “This Valentine’s Day, help girls around the world say #IDONT to child marriage”, UNFPA tweeted.

Every year, 12 million girls get married before their 18th birthday. If there will be no progress towards the accomplishment of the sustainable development goal of ending this harmful practice before 2030, the world will see more than 150 million child brides.

Rooted in poverty and gender inequality, child marriage creates huge problems for the health and well-being of teenagers. The body may not be ready for pregnancy; in developing countries, complications of pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for girls ages 15 to 19, who are also at risk of sexually transmitted infections, domestic violence and social isolation, and especially dropping out of school, which limits their ability to earn an income, explains the UN agency on its online site.

UNFPA has been inviting the international community to say #IDONT since Valentine’s Day 2015 to show support to girls around the world who say “I do” against their will. “Child marriage is a human rights violation that denies a girl her bodily autonomy. It marks the end of childhood and choice when marriage should be the dawn of a new beginning. It is a picture of dashed dreams when marriage should be a symbol of hope”. (@Onuitalia)

Il giornale Italiano delle Nazioni Unite. Ha due redazioni, una a New York, l’altra a Roma.

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