Child Marriage in Turkey (Overview)

Authored by: Işıl Bayraktar

Categories: Human Rights
Sub-Categories: Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV)
Country: Turkey
Region: Europe and Eurasia
Year: 2014
Citation: Bayraktar, Işıl. Child Marriage in Turkey (Overview). United Nations, 2014.

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Executive Summary

When a girl delays marriage, everyone benefits. A girl who marries later is more likely to stay in school, work, and reinvest her income into her family. Crucially, a girl who marries later is more empowered to choose whether, when, and how many children to have. When investments in girls are made, everyone benefits: their families, communities, and most importantly, the girls themselves. There is a huge cost to inaction on child marriage. It is time for policy-makers, parliamentarians, communities, families, and young people to address this issue head on. Let’s deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled. Let girls be girls. Child marriage violates girls’ rights, denies them of their childhood, disrupts their education, jeopardises their health, and limits their opportunities. No cultural, religious, or economic rationale for child marriage can possibly justify the damage these marriages do to young girls and their potential. A girl should have the right to choose whom she marries and when. Parents want the best for their children, and need to support their girls’ choices and decisions to marry. UNFPA is working with governments and partners at all levels of society to deliver comprehensive programmes addressing the needs of vulnerable and married girls, and providing access to livelihoods, social support and health programmes, including sexual and reproductive health. The ultimate aim is to end child marriage in this generation and to shift cultural attitudes to protect girls’ rights.