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BBC: The health risks of maturing early

"Some of my friends get married because their parents are afraid of sexual harassment and kidnapping,”says Muzoon (above), a 16-year-old Syrian refugee who advocates against early child marriage. “They believe they save their daughters lives, but my married friends don’t go to school anymore.” (Johanna Mitscherlich/CARE)

The BBC published a commentary about the health risks of maturing early, which can subject girls to a greater threat of sexual harassment and violence and lead to elevated rates of depression, substance abuse, eating disorders and anti-social behaviors in adulthood. The piece quotes Nidal Karim, project director for CARE’s Tipping Point, which combats child marriage: “This fear amidst parents and communities creates an environment where as girls get older, their worlds get smaller, with more and more restrictions placed on their mobility. Girls’ sexuality is the concern of others, but girls themselves are seldom given any information about their own bodies, puberty, sex and reproduction in order to prepare and protect themselves.”

Read it here.

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