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How The American Wedding Industry Is Taking On Child Marriage

A new push aims to reduce the number of child marriages in some of the countries where it's happening the most.
Posted at 5:20 PM, Oct 12, 2018

One minute probably doesn't seem like a long amount of time — but according to Girls Not Brides, it's long enough for 23 more girls around the world to be married. 

Child marriage can lead to a slew of consequences, like creating a cycle of poverty. Various efforts to slow down the practice have helped. But activists say it's still not enough. 

One new initiative hopes to reduce the practice further by joining forces with the U.S. wedding industry — which rakes in about $100 billion every year

Currently, the VOW initiative has partnered with several brands, including The Knot, Crate and Barrel and Malia Mills. The brands will donate a portion of their profits to organizations already working to end child marriage in a variety of ways starting next year. And couples can include VOW as a charity option in their wedding registry. 

The main countries the initiative is targeting are Democratic Republic of Congo, Dominican Republic, India, Nepal, Niger and Uganda. Those countries show up on global lists that have the highest number or rate of girls getting married below 18.

For example, Niger has the highest rate of child marriage globally, and three in four girls in the country get married. India has the highest number of child marriages.

By 2030, UNICEF estimates 150 million girls globally will likely get married.