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Child Marriage in present-day America

(11 Posts)
M0stlyBowlingHedgehog Sat 11-Feb-17 09:25:39

I vaguely knew that there were some states which allowed families to coerce underage girls into forced marriages in order to "legitimize" pregnancies (often the result of rape) but I hadn't realised how widespread it was still.

Article in today's Washington Post, hopefully not behind a paywall.

I suppose with Trump in charge there's next to no chance anything can be done about this.

AdoraBell Sat 11-Feb-17 09:50:40

Actually, that doesn't surprise me. Makes depressing reading, but not surprising.

TheCountessofFitzdotterel Sat 11-Feb-17 14:45:01

I was astonished.

Childrenofthestones Sat 11-Feb-17 15:20:16

This is shocking. What did Obama do about it.

Xenophile Sat 11-Feb-17 17:08:52

Why don't you go and look into that Children?

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 11-Feb-17 18:55:30

I've just looked. It would appear fine words but less obvious on real action in the USA.

As we observe this day, there is a girl in an unknown country who will grow to spark the next great scientific revolution, but only if she gets a shot at a higher education

Across the globe there are girls who will one day lead nations, if only we afford them the chance to choose their own destinies.

And on every continent, there are girls who will go on to change the world in ways we can only imagine, if only we allow them the freedom to dream.”

Child marriage "a fundamental threat to human rights" - Barack Obama - Girls Not Brides

Presidential Proclamation -- International Day of the Girl, 2013 |

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 11-Feb-17 19:05:35

Obama did issue an executive order.

United States Global Strategy to Empower Adolescent Girls - Girls Not Brides

I haven't read the pdf in detail but a cursory glance seems to be dealing with problems outwith the USA.

M0stlyBowlingHedgehog Sat 11-Feb-17 19:08:24

Presumably there are issues concerning the balance of power between individual states and federal government. Short of getting a Democrat majority in Senate and Congress, the only way to challenge these laws, I guess, would be by bringing a case to argue they were unconstitutional (not sure on what grounds - that the minor child involved could not be guaranteed not to be the victim of coercion because of their age, perhaps?). Which would require someone to bring the case. But who? A scared pregnant teenager whose relatives have just coerced her into marrying her rapist?

Roe vs Wade (right to abortion), Loving vs Virginia (the case that brought down miscegenation laws) were brought by adults.

LassWiTheDelicateAir Sat 11-Feb-17 19:17:07

From my very cursory reading of the Global Stratgey to Empower Adolescent Girls it seems to not even acknowledge the problem in the US.

Tahirih Responds to Pew Report on Child Marriage in the U.S. « Tahirih Justice Center

For a fuller picture, the Pew report should have characterized the state laws that permit – and even facilitate – child marriage as so slack in some instances that they put the United States in the company of countries like Iran

M0stlyBowlingHedgehog Sat 11-Feb-17 19:25:48

I suspect that Obama had feet of clay on a lot of women's issues. I saw a very interesting interview with one of his former aides talking about Obamacare, saying that at first he was prepared to sacrifice its provision for universal contraceptive cover in order to get it past the conservatives, and she had to really dig her heels in to get him to reconsider, because initially he simply didn't get why it was an important part of healthcare.

Teapot13 Thu 16-Feb-17 00:29:16

I'm American and found this surprising. I kind of knew there were exceptions in the case of pregnancy but wouldn't have thought below 16.

Incidentally I don't see how this could be addressed at the federal level -- marriage is a matter for the states -- unless, as above, it were a constitutional claim. I can definitely envision (would need to research) that one could argue it's unconstitutional for a 12 year old to be married.

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