CARE BLOG

New bipartisan support in Congress to end child marriage

7/18/12
Just because political campaigns dominate the news coming from Washington, D.C. doesn't mean campaigning is the only thing happening there. As my dear friend Google Translate likes to say,au contraire.

For example, last week CongresswomanBetty McCollum (D-MN) and Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) reintroduced legislation to help end child marriage and its devastating consequences for girls in developing countries.

H.R. 6087 declares child marriage to be a human rights abuse, establishes a strategy to prevent child marriage and promote the empowerment of girls, integrates the issue of preventing child marriage into existing US development programs, and requires that relevant agencies collect and make available data on the rates of child marriage and its impact on meeting key development goals.

It's a big deal to all of us at CARE because a) It's important legislation that, if passed, will have a meaningful beneficial impact on tens of thousand of girls and women around the world and b) because Rep. Schock joined CARE on a Learning Tour of Ethiopia in 2010 where he visited a fistulahospital.
Fistulas, or the tearing of the wall between the rectum and the anus, are common in child brides who give birth to children before their bodies have fully developed. Schock spoke about what he saw in Ethiopia on the House floor:

To learn more, check out the McCollum-Schock bill, check out Rep. Schock's announcement. The Library of Congress has the full text of the legislationand list of the co-sponsors.

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