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The dark side for women (and girls) on this International Women's Day

As the world "celebrates" International Women's Day this 8 March, this report from UNICEF makes for sobering reading - and an appreciation and understanding that the place for women in many societies is far from secure, safe and "free".

"Marriage before the age of 18 is a fundamental violation of human rights. Yet among women aged 20 to 24 worldwide, one in four were child brides.  Many factors interact to place a girl at risk of marriage, including poverty, the perception that marriage will provide ‘protection’, family honour, social norms, customary or religious laws that condone the practice, an inadequate legislative framework and the state of a country's civil registration system. Child marriage often compromises a girl’s development by resulting in early pregnancy and social isolation, interrupting her schooling, limiting her opportunities for career and vocational advancement and placing her at increased risk of domestic violence. Child marriage also affects boys, but to a lesser degree than girls."






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