Advocates Seize on White House Africa Summit to Call for End to Child Marriage

TIME

Activist groups called on African government officials to ban child marriage amid President Barack Obama’s first U.S.-Africa summit Tuesday.

“Child marriage is a complex human rights issue. It violates myriad women’s rights, ” said Amanda Klasing, a women’s rights researcher for Human Rights Watch, during a discussion at United Nations Foundation on Tuesday hosted by the International Center for Research on Women.

The summit was one of many sideline events in Washington coinciding with the U.S.-Africa Summit, a three-day gathering that brings together President Barack Obama with nearly 50 heads of state from across the African continent.

Advocates for the rights of women and girls said issues facing women and girls must be addressed at the summit—particularly the marrying off of young girls. According to a recent UNICEF report, marriage at a young age can lead to women who are less educated, more susceptible to challenges during birth (due to…

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