Marriage is one of the biggest milestones any person could go through. As being in married life can be a tough ordeal, it should be for adults only. Unfortunately, some countries still practice the tradition of subjecting girls to early or forced marriage.
Currently ranked as the 12th in the list of countries with the highest counts of child marriage, the Philippines has about 726,000 young brides. Thus, Senator Risa Hontiveros along with several women’s rights groups in the country have worked together and proposed a “Girls Not Brides” Act. The Act is pushed to be voted on by the Senate to become law in January 2021.
Another noteworthy fact, a study by UNICEF shows about 15% of girls in the Philippines have already married before the age of 18 and about 2% have already married before the age of 15.
The votes favoring the “Girls not Brides” Act are extremely important given that the ongoing global pandemic is a time where a spike in accidental pregnancies occurs. If the act becomes a law, it would benefit a lot of parties involved. However, it would only be an initial step towards destroying gender inequality which is the root of child marriage in the country.