Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird is set to co-host a UN session looking at how to prevent early forced marriage in developing countries.
The session, “Too Young to Wed,” will discuss the plight of child brides and the implications on health and education for women when they’re married as children. Statistics provided by Baird’s office show girls under 15 years old are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their 20s, and children born to mothers under 18 years old are 60 per cent more likely to die in their first year of life. Childbirth is the leading cause of death for girls 15 to 18 years old. Girls living in poverty are twice as likely to be married before they turn 18.
Baird and Prime Minister Stephen Harper are in New York City for UN meetings on women and children. Baird will also make a speech to the UN General Assembly.