This is another catastrophic consequence of the coronavirus. If nothing is done, the pandemic could lead to the marriage of 10 million children by 2030, Unicef warned on Monday, who would add to the 100 million girls considered to be at risk of being married to ‘by the end of the decade.
These marriages of girls under the age of 18 are the consequence of several factors linked to the Covid-19 crisis, mainly school closures, the deterioration of the economic situation, disruptions in public services and the deaths of parents, according to the United Nations agency dedicated to children.
Progress before the health crisis
“The Covid-19 has made an already difficult situation worse for millions of girls,” said Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “But we can and we must end child marriage.” The pandemic thus threatens to call into question the progress made over the past decade, which has seen the proportion of young girls married before their 18 years go from one in four to one in five worldwide, or around 25 million. marriages avoided. “We must take action immediately,” urged Henrietta Fore. “By reopening schools,” “ensuring access to health care and social services,” and “enforcing adequate laws and policies,” “we can reduce the risk of marriage stealing a child’s childhood. young lady “.
According to Unicef, 650 million girls and women around the world were married before they turned 18. Half of these marriages took place in five countries: Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, India and Nigeria. According to figures published in 2020 by the United Nations agency, the proportion of young girls married before their 18 years reaches 76% in Niger and 68% in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The proportion of boys married before their 18th birthday is only one sixth of that observed among girls.