Sounds like 1822 news, not 2022, Tennessee lawmakers will vote today to remove the age barrier to marriage. 24 Tennessee Republicans are sponsoring House Bill 233. Current Tennessee law says you can marry at age 17 if your parents consent.
The minimum age for marriage has been set in the absence of federal law, with several states declaring child marriage illegal, but the practice is still technically valid in 44 states. As a result, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), between 2000 and 2018, about 300,000 children were married in the United States, which defines child marriage as any marriage where at least one party is under 18 years of age.
In Nigeria, the problem is even worse
Child marriage is an epidemic that has spread to countries like Nigeria, where at least 22 million child brides live today. To raise awareness of this heinous practice, the SAGE Foundation has launched a new campaign featuring a short film produced by Yasa Khan of Camp Productions and edited by Sam Hopkins, editor-in-chief of the engine.
Filmed in Lagos, the film depicts young girls with these traumatic and widespread problems. These child brides, all of whom became mothers before the age of 18, want to continue their education, but instead feel responsible for a child they do not know how to raise.
As part of the campaign, SAGE is launching a groundbreaking petition to change the law and ban child marriage in Nigeria. The petition, hosted by Change.org and launched in partnership with young activists, It’s Never Your Fault, aimed at reaching 500,000 signatures.
The number of children in forced marriages is alarming. According to an investigative report by the International Center, in Lagos State, one of the most developed regions in Nigeria —44% of girls are married off before their 16th birthday.