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Child marriage contributes to and is impacted by poverty, gender discriminatory social norms and a lack of access to education, perpetuating a sense of dependency that is often difficult to escape. It includes any legal or customary union involving a boy or girl below the age of 18; however, child marriage affects girls in far greater numbers than boys. While often, and rightly, labeled as a human rights violation, child marriage must also be viewed as a gendered security issue as it impacts conflict-affected and displaced girls in specific ways, while potentially dooming communities and states to long-term instability because of this lost population.To do so, existing laws against child marriage should be updated and enforced, meaning that the legal age of marriage should be raised to 18 years.To implement a truly transformational approach toward child marriage in the Arab region and in conflict-affected contexts, it is necessary to challenge entrenched gender discriminatory attitudes that allow for women and girls' subordination before conflict occurs.In the midst of conflict, health and psychosocial services must be made available to girls impacted by child marriage.
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