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Support Education To Reduce Child Marriage, Maternal Mortality Among Teenage Girls

“Pregnancy and childbirth is still the leading cause of death for teenage girls in the poorest corners of the world, and despite all the progress in reducing maternal mortality by 47 percent, we have yet to save these young, vulnerable lives,” Sarah Brown, founding chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education, writes in the Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog. “One of the biggest issues to resolve is child marriage; this is rightly front and center of the first International Day of the Girl Child on October 11, 2012,” she continues, adding, “That is why the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood has joined the campaign against child marriage and is calling on its supporters to take the lead with one of their recommended actions.”

“At the heart of how we save the lives of young girls is the need to ensure that the health and education systems that can protect them work well,” Brown writes. “As we track what is happening for girls and women in Africa and around the world, we must also track who gets to go to school,” she continues, noting, “We know that girls who attend school should have the opportunity for learning and personal development, but these are not the girls who are married off at age 12, 13, 14 years old.” She highlights Plan International’s Raise Your Hand NOW campaign and concludes, “It is time to pledge your support to keep girls everywhere in school learning, and not vulnerable in early marriage and pregnancy” (10/10).