Early marriage is a form of sexual and gender-based violence with detrimental physical, social and economic effects. Niger has the highest child marriage rate in the world with 77 percent of girls married by age 18 and 30 percent married by age 15. Forty-two percent of adolescent girls give birth before the age of 17. A high proportion of school-aged girls are not in school and 73 percent of adolescent girls, ages 15-19, cannot read or write.
Zonta International has committed US$1,000,000 to UNFPA to reduce early marriage and early pregnancy in a critical mass of communities in Niger. Learn more at: http://foundation.zonta.org/Child-Marriage.