|Munni, 18, sits in her home in Himmatpura Village, Jodhpur District, Rajasthan State. Her mother, Khamma Devi, is a ‘sathin’, an advocate for women in the community. Sathins are part of the local government’s development programme for women. Despite her mother’s role in the community, Munni’s father arranged for her to be married at age 17. However, she and her mother persuaded her father to postpone the wedding until after she turned 18, the legal age for marriage.|
On December 19, 2011, United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution 66/170 to declare October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world. For the inaugural day, UN agencies have come together to focus on child marriage, which is a fundamental human rights violation and impacts all aspects of a girl’s life. Child marriage denies a girl of her childhood, disrupts her education, limits her opportunities, increases her risk of violence and abuse, and jeopardizes her health.
For more information on child marriage, see UNICEF’s child protection work.
International Day of the Girl Child 2012