Ending Child Marriage in Latin America: this year’s 4 big wins!

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Girls standing in congress with pink scarfs

To mark the International Day of the Girl 2017, four campaigners from Plan International youth groups visited the Dominican Republic Congress to ask Senate members to ratify the ban on child marriage.

In 2017, four Latin American countries made monumental gains to end child marriage – once and for all!

In the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, child marriage has been outlawed and banned with NO exceptions.

All of us at Plan International welcome this exciting news and are proud to declare that in some countries, we played a role in helping further girls’ rights and create historic change.

Although these bans are instrumental, we know that implementation does not automatically follow and that’s why we will continue to empower and educate girls so that they can exercise their rights and can shape their own future.

Click on the map below to learn more about the four countries that said NO to child marriage in 2017:

We also welcome steps other countries like Malawi have taken this year to end child marriage.

The work to #endchildmarriage is not over yet

The gains made in Latin America are worth celebrating but we must recognize that there is a lot of work yet to be done.

Around the world, 15 million girls are married before the age of 18 each year. Girls are disproportionately impacted by this practice and millions are robbed of their potential.

Child marriage is one of the many reasons girls are taken out of school and it reinforces a cycle of poverty that is difficult to break.

See also: How Education Protects Girls from Child Marriage

Keep the momentum going!

We’ve seen over and over again, that when children are empowered to demand for better and take ownership of their own futures, they can rally their entire community to stand up for their rights and challenge the status quo.

Change IS possible if we work together to end what is considered ‘normal’ for millions around the world. That’s why Plan International Canada is calling on Canadians like you to stand with youth around the world to Defy Normal and help end child marriage.

Together, we can support girls in becoming empowered, confident women who decide their own futures.

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