More than 60 million girls are currently married and if present trends continue, in the next 10 years, 100 million girls will be married as children, often resulting in devastating consequences for their health and well-being. Legislation to prevent early and forced marriages has unprecedented bipartisan support in Congress and stands a strong chance of passing into law this year. Today, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed the International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act by unanimous vote, paving the way for the legislation to pass the Senate.
Several steps in the legislative process remain before this bill is signed into law, nevertheless, the International Women’s Health Coalition and our partners and colleagues are celebrating an important victory for the bill and thank Chairman John Kerry (D-MA), Ranking Member Richard Lugar (R-IN), and the Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who made this important victory for women and girls possible. In addition, Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) continue to demonstrate leadership and support for this bill and other important issues affecting the health and rights of women and girls.
With coalition partners, IWHC is leading efforts with Senate and House champions to get this bill signed into law this year. Find out more about how you can take action and help prevent these early and forced marriages.