Over the weekend, the third edition of the Women’s March took place, with women across the U.S. and the world calling for gender equality.
The march looks to highlight some issues affecting women in their private and public lives including among others, child marriage, which has been an ongoing in the U.S. since time immemorial.
Over time, child marriage has been associated with developing countries- usually with lists highlighting countries with the highest percentage of child brides as well as countries with minimum marriageable ages. For America, this has rarely been discussed even though activists have been working hard to end the practice.
Although most states in America requires one to be at least 18 years old to marry, some have exceptions that allow children under 18 to get married. Most states require a minor to have parental consent, the approval of a judge or to be recognized as adults (i.e. emancipated minors) for them to get married. Consequently, as at December 2017, 25 states allowed minors to get married if they meet their state’s exceptions.
The work of activists over time has seen some states change their laws in 2018 but only two American states completely banned child marriages with no exceptions.
These states are: