Child brides: How old is too young to marry?

Published on 16 Mar 2013

The United Nations is warning that millions more young girls are destined to become child brides, saying if current trends hold many will be under the age of 15. The marrying off of young girls is a culturally sensitive issue, and one that draws a range of reactions from different countries and different communities. Critics argue it is fraught with danger, damage and discrimination - a violation of human rights. And the UN is worried, predicting that 140 million girls will become child brides between 2011 and 2020. That is more than 14 million girls a year it says will marry too young -- some 39,000 each and every day. Furthermore, it is warning that of these, 50 million will be under the age of 15. Joining Inside Story, with presenter Jane Dutton, are guests: Kakenya Ntaiya, a former child bride, who is the founder of the Kakenya Center for Excellence - a girl's primary school in Kenya; Sadaf Raza, from the Ideas for Life Trust - promoting, among other things, women's rights and education; and Naomi Williams, from the global children's charity, Plan.

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