African Union Promises to Stop Child Marriage
The number of girls married in Africa is expected to double in the next 35 years, experts say.
That means almost half, or 310 million girls, by 2050 will be married before they reach adulthood, says a United Nations report.
The African Union says it wants to end child marriage in Africa. Delegates at a summit in Zambia are expected to set 18 years old as the lowest legal age for marriage across the continent.
Marriage before age 18 is already against the law in most African countries. Yet the UN says more 125 million African women and girls alive today were married before their 18th birthday. Experts say most were given to men in traditional or religious unions in violation of the law.
Most child marriages involve girls, statistics show. Some boys ages 17 and younger do get married, but examples are rare.
African Union chairwoman Nkosozana Dlamini Zuma says local culture that undervalues girls and women is to blame. Poverty and lack of education are also responsible, experts say.
Cornelius Williams is associate director of child protection at UNICEF. He says studies show child marriage can be deadly.
Child brides are less likely to finish school, he explains. They are more likely to become victims of violence. And, they are more likely to become teenage mothers, with a high risk of their children being stillborn.
The best way to prevent child marriage is to enforce and improve educational options for girls, he says. That will change opinions about the role of girls in society.
Enforcing the ban on marriage for girls younger than 18, he says, is necessary. So is educating parents.
He says he could not think of his 16-year-old daughter marrying in the next two years.
He says he wants his daughter to be able to determine her life path. He wants her to be able to determine whom she marries, what she wants to do with her life in terms of her profession -- in terms of any choices she wants to make.
Cornelius Williams says, "I wish that for all girls in Africa."
I'm Kelly Jean Kelly.
1.child marriage 童婚
Child marriage is illegal in India, so ceremonies are often held in the wee hours of morning.
2.legal age 法定年龄
For example, in many countries, the legal age for drinking has been raised from eighteen to twenty-one.
3.in violation of 违法的，违背律法的
In case of a major military move the offender would stand in violation of the agreement.
4.less likely 不可能的；可能性较小
Those who expect the worst are less likely to be disappointed.
把事情想得坏的人, 不容易失望 。
1.African Union chairwoman Nkosozana Dlamini Zuma says local culture that undervalues girls and women is to blame. Poverty and lack of education are also responsible, experts say.
lack of 缺乏；不足
The accused got off/escaped scot-free because of lack of evidence.
由於证据不足, 被告未受惩罚 。
Fixed wages and lack of promotion act as a disincentive to employees.
2.He says he wants his daughter to be able to determine her life path. He wants her to be able to determine whom she marries, what she wants to do with her life in terms of her profession -- in terms of any choices she wants to make.
in terms of 依据，按照，在...方面
In terms of cash outlay, the sum is peanuts.
In terms of styling, I had an idea of what I wanted.
非盟表示希望根除这一童婚现象 。而在赞比亚举行的峰会上，各方代表希望将整个非洲大陆的最低法定结婚年龄设定为18岁 。
其实，未满18岁结婚在非洲大多数国家已经属于违法行为 。联合国还表示，据统计，现在约1.25亿的非洲女性是在未满18岁时结的婚 。专家表示，大多数女性是在法律不允许的情况下被迫与传统家族或宗教联盟的男子结婚 。
统计数据显示，童婚现象中的女孩居多 。当然，也包括一些17岁以下的男孩，但是这种情况并不常见 。
非盟主席祖玛表示，当地歧视女性的落后文化根深蒂固 。专家也表示，贫穷和教育落后等因素也不可忽视 。
科尼利厄斯.威廉姆斯是联合国儿童基金会的儿童保护协会副主任 。他表示，童婚所引发的结果可能是致命的 。
他进一步解释道，儿童新娘失去了受教育的机会 。他们更容易遭受来自各方面的暴力伤害 。此外，因为小小年纪就已为人母，因此，孩子胎死腹中的风险很高 。
防止童婚最有效的办法是改善女孩受教育的社会现状 。这一举措将会使人们对于女孩在社会中所扮演的角色有很大的改观 。