Millions of girls who marry early lose out on schooling, health

    World Vision launches "Before She's Ready" Briefing Paper on
    Child Marriage

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, Sept. 4 /CNW/ - While most girls in Canada are heading
back to school this week, millions of their peers across the developing world
won't be because they have been forced into early marriages. The result is a
continuing spiral of poverty, illiteracy and maternal and child health
problems in communities worldwide, according to a World Vision report released
    "Before She's Ready: 15 Places Girls Marry by 15", a new briefing paper
from humanitarian organization World Vision, illustrates the causes and human
costs of early marriage. With contributions from development and advocacy
workers in the field, the report also highlights innovative and successful
programs in countries ranging from Afghanistan to Zambia where a variety of
approaches aim to tackle the underlying needs that often fuel the practice.
    Child and early marriage - before the ages of 14 and 18, respectively -
are expected to claim the futures of some 100 million girls in the next
decade, depriving most of them of the chance to finish school and putting them
at higher risk of injury or death due to early childbearing, and of
contracting HIV. Aid workers also report that the current global food crisis
is exacerbating the practice, pushing more poor families to send young
daughters into marriage in their struggle to cope with the strains of deeper
poverty and hunger.

    Media are invited to a conference call on the paper's release, where World
Vision specialists from Africa and South Asia will discuss the impact of early
marriage in their regions, and on girls' education globally.

    Date:                                   Thursday, Sept. 4, 2008
    Time:                                   10:30 a.m. EST
    Call-in toll-free number (US/Canada):   1-866-699-3239
    Call-in toll number (US/Canada):        1-408-792-6300
    Attendee access code:                   1244-4371
    Global call-in numbers:

    Experts will include:

    Amboka Wameyo, Advocacy Program Integration Manager, World Vision Canada

    Wameyo, a Kenyan who previously managed the agency's regional advocacy for
25 African countries, can address the need for local advocacy based in
high-incidence countries to promote better policies to protect girl children.

    Karoline Davis, National Coordinator for Gender and Development,
    World Vision India

    Davis, based in Chennai, will discuss the trends in India and promising
approaches for delaying marriage and an HIV prevention project in Mumbai.

    Ruthi Hoffman Hanchett, Policy Officer for Education,
    World Vision International

    Hoffman Hanchett brings a background in gender rights integration to
advocacy for better education policy for girls.

    The report is available on embargo for media preview until 10:30 a.m. EST
on Sept. 4, when it will be posted publicly at To request
a copy under embargo, e-mail the contacts below.

    World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization
dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome
poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion,
race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit

For further information:

For further information: The specialists from this call and others from
programs in various regions will also be available for further interviews. To
arrange an interview outside of the scheduled conference call, please contact:
Yoko Kobayashi, (905) 565-6200 ext 2151, (416) 671-0086 (cell),; Alex Sancton, (905) 565-6200 ext 3949, (416)
419-1321 (cell),

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