CAM-AMERICA GLOBAL INITIATIVE FOR SOCIAL CHANGE (CAGISC) is committed to make education the center of development globally. Understanding that education plays a significant role in the wellbeing of humans as well as social and economic development, we strongly support education as a “fundamental human right”. It empowers individuals, families and communities while improving their quality of life. Its multiplier effect is quite beneficial to the growth of communities since it helps to alleviate poverty, reduce mortality, curb population growth, achieve gender equality and ensures sustainable peaceful and stable environments.


According to UNESCO, 61 million children, primary school – age were not enrolled in school in 2010. Amongst these children, 47% were never expected to enroll in school, 26% attended school but left and the remaining 27% are expected to attend school in the future. As of 2012, 31 million primary-school children dropped out of school.Moreover children living in rural areas are two times more likely to be out of school than urban children. In Sub-Saharan Africa, it is estimated that 12 million children leave school before completing their primary education. In Asia that number reaches 13.5 million.Children who live in these poverty-stricken and less literate regions of the world are faced with multiple challenges some of which are gender specific. While girls are less likely to begin school, boys are more likely to repeat grades or drop out altogether. Young girls remain powerless as they are robbed of their childhood and bright future by premature marriages and motherhood. It is unfortunate that little progress has been made towards ending the practice of child marriage. In fact, the problem threatens to increase with poverty and the expanding youth population in developing countries. Most child marriages take place in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.


Child marriage is defined as marriage before the age of 18. It applies to both boys and girls but the practice is far more common among young girls. If current levels of child marriages hold, 14.2 million girls annually or 39,000 daily will marry too young. Between 2011 and 2020, more than 140 million girls will become child brides, according to United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). Furthermore, of the 140 million girls who will marry before they are 18, 50 million will be under the age of 15. If child marriage is not properly addressed, UN Millennium Development goals 4 & 5 – calling for a three-fourths reduction in maternal mortality and two-thirds reduction in child deaths by 2015-will not be met.


Studies indicate that 53% of the world’s out-of-school children are girls and two-thirds of illiterate people in the world are women. Education empowers women to make healthy decisions about their lives. Women with a primary education are 13% more likely to know that condoms can reduce their risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. Education and a good understanding of safer sexual practices can help decrease the spread of this deadly virus. Children born to educated mothers are less likely to be stunted or malnourished. Each additional year of maternal education also reduces the child mortality rate by 2%. In developing countries every additional year of education can increase a person’s future income by an average of 10%.


Child marriage is a violation of the rights of girls for the following reasons:

These goals can only be achieved through collaborative interventions with governments, organizations, community leaders and private citizens.