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Because #LoveIsOurBusiness, we believe every girl should be able to choose love on her own terms and no child should ever be a bride.
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FAQs About Child Marriage
July 19, 2022

Together with brands, couples, wedding industry professionals, and everyday supporters, we are growing a global movement to end child marriage. But what is child marriage? Here are some FAQs about child marriage and how you can support VOW in helping girls around the world choose love on their own terms:

What do we mean when we say “child marriage”?

Marriages that occur before a girl is 18-years-old — 18 is the universally accepted beginning of “adulthood.”  Unfortunately, the vast majority of child marriages impact girls.

How many girls are impacted?

12 million girls a year. That’s 1 girl every 3 seconds.

Where does it happen?

Child marriage is a global issue cutting across countries, cultures, and religions. In order to have the biggest impact on ending child marriage, we currently focus on the regions where the prevalence is highest and the need is greatest.

Why does it happen?

At its core, child marriage occurs because of gender inequality – girls are not valued as much as boys. In addition, poverty, social norms, natural disasters, climate change, and violence all drive child marriage.

How are girls impacted?

Child marriage affects girls overall wellbeing.


What effect does COVID-19 have on child marriage?

COVID-19 has exacerbated many of the complex factors that drive child marriage, including loss of household income, higher risk of domestic violence, and lack of access to schooling. This could lead to an estimated 10 million additional girls becoming brides over the next decade.

How do we end child marriage?

There isn’t one single solution. We must understand the drivers behind it and be adaptable in supporting various locally-led solutions.


What can you do to help?

Join VOW for Girls’ growing global movement to end the international child marriage crisis. 100% of the funds raised from partners and the public are invested in effective but underfunded local efforts that advance girls’ rights.

Our Mission

To end child marriage by building a connected groundswell of love and support for every girl whose right to own her future is at risk.

Our Vision

A world where no child is ever a bride.

Header photo credit: Ed Kashi/ Talking Eyes Media

About VOW for Girls

From wedding registry donations to partner product purchases, everything donated to VOW (that’s 100% of donations!) goes directly to community-driven efforts to help girls around the world. Our grantees, which are mainly women-led local organizations, use the funding we provide to directly support girls.Twelve million girls a year, some as young as 8, become child brides. VOW is a global movement of the wedding industry community, partners and couples who are dedicated to a world where no child is ever a bride and where every girl has the chance to live the life she loves.If you’re in the wedding industry and you’re interested in becoming involved, please find more wedding inspiration and advice in our blog, consider becoming a VOW Pro partner and learning more about VOW’s mission to end child marriage. If you’re an engaged couple and want to learn more about supporting VOW, please visit our couples page. We can’t wait to see what good we can do together!
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