Child marriage and US foreign policy

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Friday, 7 June, 2013

“This was a hidden issue, only two years ago.” Mary Robinson discusses The Elders’ campaign to end child marriage as both a moral imperative in its own right, and as a global development and foreign policy priority, at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.

On Monday Mary Robinson joined UNICEF’s Geeta Rao Gupta for a discussion on child marriage and US foreign policy. The discussion was hosted by the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, which recently published a report, Ending Child Marriage: How Elevating the Status of Girls Advances US Foreign Policy Objectives.

Mary Robinson explains how The Elders’ concern about the use of religion and tradition to subjugate women led to their focus on child marriage. Responding to questions on the impact of legal reforms, the role of men and boys, and the economic argument against early marriage, she reflects on The Elders’ visits to grassroots campaigners in rural India and Ethiopia, and her own childhood in the West of Ireland.

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