Between 2011 and 2020, more than 140 million girls will become child brides, according to United Nations Population Fund. Of the 140 million girls who will marry before the age of 18, 50 million will be under the age of 15. Despite the fact that 158 countries have set the legal age for marriage at 18 years, laws are rarely enforced since the practice of marrying young children is upheld by tradition and social norms. Child marriage, which has existed for centuries, is a complex issue, rooted deeply in gender inequality, tradition and poverty. The practice is most common in rural and impoverished areas, where prospects for girls can be limited. In many cases, parents arrange these marriages and young girls have no choice.
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