In the United States, after years of persistent advocacy and media work by IWHC and colleagues, the Senate unanimously passed The International Protecting Girls by Preventing Child Marriage Act on December 1. Two weeks later, the bill was taken up for consideration by the House of Representatives where it failed to garner “super majority” needed of 2/3 of the members supporting it (the vote was 241 for it and 166 against). In April, a coalition of Nigerian activists and academics signed and delivered a petition to the national Senate calling for an investigation into the marriage of Senator Yerima, who allegedly paid $100,000 to marry the 13-year- old daughter of his Egyptian driver. In their petition, advocates requested that Yerima be suspended, pointing to the Nigerian government’s “violation of known laws, conventions and standards” of human rights.
What’s next: The International Women’s Health Coalition looks forward to working with the U.S. Administration to ensure that the United States develops and implements a strategic approach to combating child marriage as part of its international development efforts. In Nigeria, efforts to prevent child marriage Click here to read a factsheet on child marriage, and here to read a blog post with a young person’s take on the dangers of child marriage.