Nearly six girls in South Asia and 60 girls worldwide die every day due to pregnancy and childbirth resulting from child marriage. This was revealed by the 'Save The Children' foundation in their Global Girlhood Report 2021.
According to the report, 22,000 girls lose their lives every year globally. The report noted that West and Central Africa recorded the highest mortality rate globally, accounting for nearly half of all estimated deaths globally, with 9,600 fatalities, which means 26 deaths a day.
South Asia was next, reporting 2,000 annual deaths, East Asia and the Pacific with 650 deaths, and 500 yearly fatalities in Latin American and the Caribbean.
Situation Worsened Due To Coronavirus
According to the report, around 80 million child marriages globally were prevented in the last 25 years, but the number grew due to the coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic pushed millions of families into poverty, and women and girls remained the worse-off, facing violence, sexual assault, etc., amid the lockdowns.
The analysis estimated 10 million girls to marry by 2030, indicating the risk of more deaths.
Girls Deprived Of Fundamental Rights
The organisation's international CEO, Inger Ashing, said that child marriage was one of the deadliest forms of sexual and gender-based violence. Every year, millions are forced into wedlock with men who are often much older, depriving them of the opportunity to grow as successful individuals and exercise their fundamental rights.
"Childbirth is the number one killer of teenage girls because their young bodies aren't ready to bear children. The health risks must not be ignored. Governments should ensure their protection not only from child marriages but also premature childbirth-related deaths, and this is possible if girls have a say in the decisions that affect them," Ashing added.
Indian CEO, Sudarsha called it a 'collective failure', as even in this century, such a crime against humanity, which should have been a history, is prevalent. He added that not only people who commit the crime but also those who are not a part of the solution are equally part of the problem.
"To deny children, and more specifically the girl children, their basic right to learn and enjoy a happy and carefree childhood is a human rights violation and needs to be condemned. It should not be dismissed as a cultural element and instead seen as a denial of the right to life and liberty," the media quoted Sudarshan as saying.