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Today is the Day to End Child Marriage

As the world marks the first annual International Day of the Girl, UN Foundation Founder and Chairman Ted Turner calls for the eradication of child marriage

Washington, DC  —   October 11, 2012

Today is the inaugural International Day of the Girl, which aims to galvanize worldwide enthusiasm to better girls’ lives and allow them to reach their full potential. In recognition of this milestone, the United Nations Foundation Founder and Chairman Ted Turner released the following statement. 

“International Day of the Girl is a date that needs to be marked on every person’s calendar.

Since I created the UN Foundation in 1998, empowering women and girls and safeguarding their rights has been at the heart of everything that we do. We know that when a girl is healthy, educated, and empowered, she can deliver for her family, her community, and her nation. Time has shown us that investing in girls is one of the smartest investments that we can make. By investing in girls now, we are investing in the social and economic stability of our future.

There is growing recognition around the world of the power of investing in adolescent girls, and the UN Foundation is proud to be a leader in building this movement with the United Nations and our partners.  But we know that urgent challenges persist, and we cannot stop advocating for these girls now.

Among these challenges is the tragedy of child marriage.  Right now, every 19 minutes, a girl under 18 is married, often to an older man. This denies her of her childhood, limits her opportunities, and jeopardizes her health and safety. This practice affects one in seven girls under the age of 15 in developing countries. It is just plain unacceptable. We can’t afford to wait to end child marriage — girls around the world are counting on us to act.

International Day of the Girl is a time to speak out against this human rights violation and ensure that every girl has the ability to reach her full potential. Today, make your voice heard on this urgent issue — tell your friends, family and leaders that no girl should be forced into marriage.

Join the global movement. Together, we can help change girls’ lives and change the world.”


About The United Nations Foundation
The United Nations Foundation builds public-private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and broadens support for the United Nations through advocacy and public outreach. Through innovative campaigns and initiatives, the Foundation connects people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. The Foundation was created in 1998 as a U.S. public charity by entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner and now is supported by global corporations, foundations, governments, and individuals. For more information, visit