Child Marriage to Cost Trillions of Dollars by 2030 – World Bank Explains Why

Child marriage is a global challenge that has been shown to contribute to a number of harmful consequences, including school dropout, early pregnancy, intimate partner violence and infant mortality. World Bank reveals each year, 15 million girls are married before the age of 18.

The World Bank said Child marriage will cost developing countries trillions of dollars in the next decade, seriously hampering global efforts to eradicate poverty.

“An estimated one in three girls in the developing world is married before the age of 18, with one girl married off every two seconds,”  experts said.

READ ALSO: Child Marriage: Afghanistan Father Gives 6 Year Old Daughter To 55 Year Old Imam In Exchange For A Goat

The World Bank said ending child marriage would reduce population growth, boost girls’ educational achievements and increase their earnings. It would also lead to women having healthier and better educated children, further boosting prosperity.

World Bank economist Quentin Wodon said in a statement:

“Child marriage not only puts a stop to girls’ hopes and dreams, it also hampers efforts to end poverty and achieve economic growth and equity, ending this practice is not only the morally right thing to do but also the economically smart thing to do.”

According to him, of the biggest economic benefits of ending child marriage would derive from a reduction in population.”

“Girls who marry young have more children on average than those who delay marriage. Ending child marriage would reduce fertility rates by 11 per cent on average in 15 of the worst affected countries analysed in the study. The study showed that  Global gains from lower population growth could exceed 500 billion dollar annually by 2030, with cumulative gains topping four trillion dollars.”

Although world leaders have pledged to end child marriage by 2030 under the UN Sustainable Development Goals pact agreed on in 2015, investments to end the practice remain limited.

The authors said this was likely partly due to the fact child marriage was seen as a social issue and the economic case had not been made forcefully enough.

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