Around the world, 650 million women were engaged or married as minors. Every year, 12 million girls below the age of 18 get married. This is according to the March 2018 report by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
Meanwhile, 15% of Filipino women ages 25 to 49 years old were married before reaching 18 years old and 2% were married before their 15th birthday based from a study conducted by Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in 2017. The study stated that women from ARMM, MIMAROPA, and SOCCSKSARGEN marry earlier compared to women in other regions.
In the Philippines, Bagong Henerasyon Representative Bernadette Herrera Dy and Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman filed House Bill (HB) No. 8440 which aims to punish those who would facilitate and solemnize child marriage in the country.
As stated in Section 4 of HB 844, “These acts are grave [forms] of child abuse and exploitation as they gravely threaten and endanger the survival and normal development of children physically, emotionally, and psychologically and can be initiated by any concerned individual.”
In the past 10 years, over 25 million child marriages have been stopped and the largest decrease in the prevalence of child marriage is in South Asia. (In the NOW/Facebook)