Wars change lives and leave a negative impact on people. The war in Syria led to a growing problem which is child marriage. Child marriage has been present for decades but increased dramatically as the war found its way to Syria. In fact, 400 million of the women now aged between 20 and 49 were married before the age of 18 (International Women’s Health Coalition, 2017). More specifically, one third of the total female population is getting married before the age of eighteen, and one ninth before the age of fifteen (International Women’s Health Coalition, 2017). These numbers are unstable and still growing. Therefore, it is crucial to study the circumstances under which child marriage occurs, particularly in Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon, since this is where many victims of child marriage are found.
Causes Behind Child Marriage among Syrian Refugees in Lebanon
Multiple factors are behind child marriage in Lebanon. The rates of child brides found in Syrian refugee camps is of high importance. Therefore, it is crucial to study the causes leading to child marriage. Before stating all the reasons
leading to child marriage among Syrian refugees in Lebanon, it is important to note that Lebanon is the country that welcomes the biggest number of Syrian refugees yearly (UNHCR, 2016). In fact, Figure 1 illustrates the total number of refugees currently registered and unregistered in Lebanon. According to Los Angeles Times, “Lebanon has the highest per-capita number of Syrian refugees, accounting for about 1 in 4 people in the country” (Los Angeles Times, 2016).
Lack of Education and Awareness
First, underprivileged parents in refugee camps tend to think that giving their daughters away for marriage will protect them, since the parents themselves are not able to provide their daughters with the necessary goods, needs and protection. Moreover, during wars and tough times, when families lose their houses and are no longer able to find shelter for their children, they marry their daughter to a man whose family will be able to take diligent care of her (UNFPA, 2013). In fact, a study conducted by the Caritas Lebanon Migrants Centre (CLMC) found that most of the Syrian refugees live in abominable conditions and are often exploited and evicted from their homes. The main issue they face concerning housing is not being able to pay the rent of the house. According to CLMC, “refugee households paid an average $291 in rent and were forced to spend an average three-quarters (76%) of their total income on rental” (ReliefWeb, 2016). Not having enough money in hand, many refugees stay months without paying the rent and some still live without a legal residency permit.
On another hand, child marriage is not only caused by poverty and famine. The fear of being harassed and aggressed sexually plays a significant role in the early marriage of little girls (Anderson, 2013). The Syrian refugees arriving recently to Lebanon are more likely to give their daughters away than the ones who were in the camps before them. In fact, according to Chalabi (2013), the newcomers have experienced more near-death experiences and have lived under direr circumstances than the ones living in the camps before them. This is mainly because the refugees who arrived at Lebanon only recently are mainly the ones who were unable to flee Syria and escape the wars. In fact, because of the trauma the newcomers lived in, violence has become an emotional release to them, a way of expressing their anger and rage. She reports that combatants in Syria qualified rape as a “weapon of war” which explains the tremendous number of rape and domestic violence incidents (The Guardian, 2013).
For the women and children involved, violence and harassment have become part of their lives to a point that some would find it wrong or inappropriate to scream or complain. It is also the case with victims of rape who are severely punished by the rapist or by society itself if they tell on the rapist and share their experience (Global Fund for Women, 2017). Consequently, parents avoid putting their children through such situations and living such experiences again, so they give them away to marriage so that someone else can take care and be responsible of them (Women’s Refugee Commission, 2017).
Furthermore, one of the very key issues is the lack of availability and investment of organizations and institutions that deal with such cases. The victims are neglected and not taken care of, which worsens their well-being on the physical, psychological and social levels (Anderson, 2013). Consequently, girls are lured into thinking that getting married at a very young age will protect their reputation, honor and future. Simplistically, they are forced into early marriage to avoid losing their virginity before getting married, because if the girl has sexual intercourse with someone other than her husband before getting married, she gets shamed, dishonored and often disowned by her own parents (Care, 2015). Girls in refugee camps are not taught and guided through the right path. They are somehow brainwashed to the point that some are convinced that early marriage is the solution to their problems (Women’s Refugee Commission, 2017).
However, the most concerning issue is the encouragement and support of the parents to the idea of child marriage. They look forward to marrying their daughters since they believe they are following the right path for them and for the young bride (UNFPA, 2013). This is caused by the lack of awareness and education of the parents. They are not aware of the negative outcomes and experiences their daughter will go through especially on the health and social levels (UNFPA, 2013). This is caused by the lack of involvement and commitment of NGOs and institutions who try to make a change but are not able to because of the government standing in their way. Since there isn’t a law that forbids child marriage and there aren’t protection and security services who help Syrian refugees in Lebanon, this tradition among Syrian refugees won’t cease to exist (ReliefWeb, 2016). Currently, the most involved and active NGO dealing with child marriage is KAFA, but their voices are not heard by everyone. Therefore, Syrian refugees remain uneducated and ignorant and won’t mind sending their daughters away for marriage as long as the parents keep benefiting (Al-Monitor, 2017).
On a short-term level, girls are sold to marriage in exchange of direct sums of money. In fact, when parents face desperate financial situations, they often agree to marry their daughter to a man in exchange of goods. This exchange is called “dowry”. A dowry is “a transfer of parental property, gifts or money at the marriage of a daughter” (Wikipedia, 2017). More precisely, to be able to afford the minimum of goods and needs necessary for survival, parents in refugee camps do not mind transforming their daughter into a source of income where her worth is reduced to a limited amount of money (UNFPA ,2013). The sum of a dowry can range from $200 to $20.000 depending on the age of the bride: the older she gets the more expensive the dowry (World Vision International, 2012). The dowry helps the groom discharge the responsibilities of marriage and can constitute a substitute of the inheritance in case the groom dies (Wikipedia, 2017).
On a longer term, many families benefit from marrying their daughters at an early age. Since some families consider girls to be a burden on them, child marriage is a relief for them as well as a decrease in the amount of expenses. But if the husband is wealthy enough, the whole family benefits from him and from what he possesses in many ways such as houses, cars, and other materialistic goods (Girls not Brides, 2017). According to Leyla Dirani, clinical psychologist, “families belonging to poor economic and cultural backgrounds believe that when they marry their daughter at an early age they will be relieved of some financial burdens. They consider marrying the girl to a person whom they might benefit from financially and morally, or someone who would help a member of the family reach a higher position” (Personal interview, 2017).
The age gap between the new bride and her husband is also very concerning. Care (2015) reported that “In 2012, of all Syrian girls who had married between the ages of 15-17, 16.2% married men who were 15 or more years older, 31.8% married men who were 10-14 years older, and 37.2% married men who were 5-9 years older”. For instance, according to Anderson (2013), a fourteen-year-old Syrian refugee was forced into marrying a rich 45-year-old Lebanese man. The little girl was dragged into the marriage against her will and could not have a say in it. Daughters are being reduced to trade objects that the parents benefit from. And since the daughter getting married involves hope for the family to acquire additional money, then refusing the marriage would be considered betraying her parents and whole family.
Consequences of Child Marriage among Syrian Refugees in Lebanon
Child marriage is caused by several factors leading it to be a crucial topic to discuss. Unfortunately, early marriage has various consequences on the young bride which leave a negative scarring impact on her.
After having done an investigation and studied the situation in which refugee girls are living in, Mercy Corps, the global humanitarian organization, reports that the rate of child marriage among Syrian refugees has increased significantly since the war in Syria began. This explains the increase in death rates among teenage girls, resulting from pregnancy complications, miscarriages, abortion or stillbirth (Montgomery, 2015). In fact, pregnancy is one of the main factors that cause death for girls aged fifteen to nineteen (ICRW, 2017). Among the 16 million teenage girls who give birth every year in low and middle-income countries, almost 90% of them are married and UNICEF estimates that 50000 of them die (UNICEF, 2016). Often, the girl dies before her baby is born and it is very likely that the baby does not even live through the first day. These death rates are more common among girls getting pregnant in their teenage years, than those of women in their twenties and above (Montgomery, 2015).
The victim is also exposed to sexually transmitted illnesses more than other older women (UNFPA, 2013). For instance, she is highly exposed to HIV/AIDS that she receives from her husband who caught the diseases from other individuals. Since she is uncapable of asking for safe sex and for access to health services, she is unable to do anything about her health that is at risk (WikiGender, 2015). Furthermore, early sexual intercourse can lead to obstructed labor that then leads to obstetric fistula. Such complications are characterized by a blocked pelvis, not letting the baby exit during childbirth. Consequently, the baby won’t receive enough oxygen which leads to its death (WikiGender, 2015).
Loss of Right to Live a Normal Life
Being forced into marriage leads the young bride involved to drop out of school and not have access to education anymore. It also forbids her to learn vocational and life skills (UNICEF, 2016). Schools are the most important and fundamental institutions in society, for they prepare children for adulthood and teach them how to handle responsibilities. Therefore, the less time spent in school, the more negative the outcomes are (Bayisenge, 2010). Leaving school and not receiving the minimum amount of education will have important consequences in the girl’s future when it comes to job opportunities, where other girls who had the chance to receive an education, will be favored over the ones who didn’t (UNFPA, 2013). For instance, Varia (2016) gives the example of a young girl named Sharon J. whose dream of being a journalist was destroyed after being forced into marriage at the age of fourteen. Consequently, instead of working in her desired field, she is forced to stay in her new house and obey to her husband and his parents (Varia, 2016). The GMR study admitted in 2013 that there would be 14% less child marriages if all girls fulfilled their primary education and 64% fewer births if they achieved secondary education (Varia, 2015). Unfortunately, in Lebanon, only 5% of secondary-school-age Syrian refugees attend classes (Human Rights Watch, 2017).
Being deprived from education also stops the young brides from developing their self-esteem and confidence to be able to control their own actions and decisions and have a say in everything that occurs to them. Girls in such societies are more likely to work and take care of the husband’s house (clean, do the dishes, cook, raise the children…) and are encouraged to do so by their parents who don’t believe that their daughters need to receive an education to fulfil their duties as mothers and wives (Bayisenge, 2010). When a girl is forced into marriage, she is deprived from her freedom of choice and opinion. Her husband is imposed on her and she does not have the right to refuse him (UNFPA, 2013).
In many underdeveloped countries, and particularly in Lebanon, women are widely seen as inferior to men. These patriarchal rituals increase the number of child marriage and consequently increase the number of women controlled and aggressed by their husband (Girls not Brides, 2017). The rate of domestic and sexual violence on women under the age of eighteen is very important to the point that men would beat their spouse even while pregnant (UNICEF, 2016). In fact, this is mainly caused by the absence of education, money, maturity and most importantly by the absence of power of the young bride. The groom, being significantly older than the spouse, would take advantage of the age difference between them to be dominant and violent towards his wife. This highlights the gender inequality between the wife and the groom where the groom takes over and deprives his wife from more than what she is already deprived of (EurekAlert, 2016). For instance, the groom takes away her innocence and right to consent. The young bride is forced to have sexual relations with her husband and is not given the right to refuse, although she is still physically and mentally immature. Consequently, she develops psychological damage such as traumatic stress and depression but is not allowed to complain because the groom would threaten to hurt her if she tells on him (Breakthrough, 2013). Also, in extreme situations, as reported by Leyla Dirani, some girls forced into marriage tend to harm themselves and some attempt to commit suicide (Personal interview, 2017).
Moreover, the young bride is often deprived of food, information and social life. Her rights to live a standard life, to rest, to participate and interact socially and culturally are taken away from her because of a husband who keeps her between four walls and forbids her from going out (ThoughtCo, 2017). Although one of the main reasons for parents marrying their daughter at a very young age is security and safety, many girls experience violence and harassment in their husband’s home at a higher rate than where they lived before (Montgomery, 2015).
Most of the child marriages are unregistered because they are illegal, knowing that the minimum required age to get married is eighteen. Unregistered marriages lead to unregistered newborns: children who are unregistered will experience rough futures especially on the social level where they will be left out and rejected by society, denied the right to carry a name and a nationality and restrained from basic services and rights. These restrictions will have a significant impact on the unregistered child’s education, and hope of finding a job (Care, 2015).
Girls that are forced into child marriage experience elevated risk of divorce. The husband can deny the marriage since it is unregistered, and send his wife back to her family. In the case of a divorce, men take advantage of girls who have lost their virginity to abuse them physically and mentally. Then, if the girl decides to go back to school and go forward with her education, she will be bullied and rejected by other unmarried girls, especially if the little victim already has kids of her own (Bradford, 2017). In fact, the biggest percentage of Syrian refugees in Lebanon are women and children, which makes most of them vulnerable subjects. And therefore, the number of sexual assaults by local and Syrian men that occur in refugee camps is of high importance (Anderson, 2013). According to Leyla Dirani, “the sexual relation at this young age could be considered and lived as rape by the girl” (Personal interview, 2017). The victims are left scarred for life and are left to go through their misery alone: among early married females, 37% were relying on their mothers in health-related issues, only 29% consult lady doctors and 33.3% don’t talk to anyone about their issues (Ahmed, Khan, Alia & Noushad, 2013).
A Step Forward Towards Ending Child Marriage
Several consequences and causes are behind child marriage. For that reason, the search of a solution is necessary. We can start by proposing a solution that can hopefully decrease the number of child marriages in Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon. Since a major cause of child marriage is the absence of education, then educating the parents, the children and the society might solve this problem. But before exposing our solution, Figure 2 reports few facts about Syrian children refugees in Lebanon.
Barriers to Women’s Empowerment
Yearly, almost 15 million girls are married before the age of 18. These victims of child marriage are forbidden from their right to education and freedom. It is crucial for girls, especially those who live in a patriarchal society, to know their worth and be confident. In such societies, girls are mainly considered inferior to men and therefore do not know what they are capable of and what they can achieve. The International Center for Research on Women (ICRW) has come up with strategies to delay marriage for teenage girls. The programs are girl-focused and offer social support and access to critical resources (ICRW, 2017). The first step includes self-awareness and confidence where girls learn about their rights and about what they can do if they don’t get married at an early age. Also, teenage girls are taught that there are options other than getting married such as pursuing their education or finding a job. Finally, girls are taught to raise their voices in their families and within the community they live in to influence others and make a change (Girls Not Brides, 2016).
When a girl knows her worth, she can refuse to her parents’ desire to marry her at an early age. A conscious girl can stand against the decision of her uneducated parents since she’ll know what’s better for her and for her future (Lazzarini, 2017). Also, she’ll become aware of what she deserves and will be able to analyze the consequences of every action and decision she takes and therefore will be less afraid of fighting for her rights, against domestic abuse and against marital rape (Lazzarini, 2017). For all these reasons, uneducated parents in refugee camps avoid educating their daughters for them not to become literate and aware of their rights. Once educated, they become opinionated and so they allow themselves to stand against their parents and refuse what they believe is wrong (Palmer, 2010). Therefore, since uneducated parents want their daughters to remain obedient and under their authority, they discourage the education of girls and refuse any approach that might lead to their daughters becoming more knowledgeable than them (Palmer, 2010).
Education of Children
Children’s education begins with learning how to respect one another. In fact, early education plays a crucial role in the recognition of a woman’s value. The earlier a person learns about gender equality, the more accepting they get concerning female employment. Receiving the minimum amount of education, which requires spending at least thirteen years at school, gives women more job opportunities and therefore lessens child marriage (Girls Not Brides, 2016). Hoda Rashad states that the strongly educated girls tend to get married later than those who lack education (Rashad, 2015). As highlighted in Figure 3, education is necessary in a girl’s life. Going to school might teach today’s kids to respect women and to fight for their rights so that the social construction of traditional communities becomes less tight and restricted (The RCS, 2017). It might also put the children in an environment that nurtures all people’s points of views by creating a community involving both males and females. These interactions can be a form of education that blends women in society (The RCS, 2017). In fact, approximately 40% of current marriages in Lebanon face educational inequalities between the wife and the husband where the husband is more educated than his partner. These marriage cases are more likely to be found among Syrian refugees (Rashad, 2015).
In addition, education lessens marriage between relatives which is also common among Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Although marriage between relatives and cousins is common in other countries such as the UAE (Osman, 2015), it is unlikely to occur in Lebanon among educated people. However, it is a tradition and a normal event among the less educated and is mostly popular in Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon and specifically when it comes to children and teenagers. For that reason, educating those minorities would reduce the rate of not only marriage among relatives, but also the rate of child marriage (Osman, 2015).
To try to avoid such arrangements and marriages and to guarantee access to education, schools are beginning to work on surpassing several boundaries and limits that prevent girls from obtaining the required education they need (Girls Not Brides, 2016). In fact, there are several key issues to come across: first, accessibility. Especially in refugee camps where people can’t afford transportation, an approach to providing means of transportation for underprivileged children in camps, so that they can get to school safely like other kids, could be a step towards our goal (Girls Not Brides, 2016). For instance, students at the American University of Beirut started working on a project feasible all over Lebanon, that provides public buses in all different regions of the country (Bteish, 2017). This project allows almost everyone to make use of public transportation for free (Bteish, 2017). Thus, the organizers of this project can take into consideration the lack of availability of transportation in Syrian refugee camps and start providing public buses in such regions too. This could be one of the ways to solve the transportation and accessibility issue.
Second, the quality of education is one of main factors that play a significant role in the out-of-school situation of refugee girls. In fact, even though in some cases schools are near the refugees’ home, parents avoid sending their daughters to them because of the lack of commitment of teachers, but also because of the lack of importance given to the value of education (The World Bank, 2017). Consequently, parents would view education and schools as a waste of time and expenses and therefore, would rather drop their children out of school than waste money on institutions that they aren’t benefiting from (HRW, 2016).
Moreover, on the sanitary and safety levels, schools for refugees often lack hygiene and maintenance. Students are more likely to catch bacteria and diseases in such schools than in healthier ones (Mourtada, 2017). They also experience higher rates of harassment and bullying than they would in other schools. Whether it is on the bus or in the playground, refugee kids are more likely to be left out and mistreated than other local Lebanese students (Mourtada, 2017). On a more extreme level, few girls were raped by their teacher, which adds to the worrying of the parents and their unwillingness to send their daughters to school. Although schools are often considered a second home for children, it is not always the case when it comes to refugee schools (Luminos Fund, 2016).
Therefore, in order to guarantee access to education for refugee children, it is crucial to keep the students in a safe environment (Girls Not Brides, 2016). For instance, The Speed School Fund (2016) has come up with a solution to improve the educational situation of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. One way to improve schools and institutions would be to work with community-based organizations (Speed School, 2016). The improvement would be based on ensuring security on all levels and providing a better quality of education by setting up programs and curriculums that cover all the necessary knowledge and culture that students should learn. The teachers involved would be carefully chosen and interviewed before getting the job. Since refugee children are very vulnerable and sensitive subjects, it is necessary that their educators are well trained for the job. They would be chosen based on the way they treat their students and the way they exchange and communicate with them (Girls Not Brides, 2016).
Such programs would include study groups and homework clubs directed by volunteers from these organizations to help students after classes understand better the material covered at school (Speed School, 2016). They would organize campaigns to raise awareness and let girls understand the importance of going to school and receiving an education. It also informs them about the job opportunities and all the different things they can do and become after graduating from school, rather than getting married and working at home (Speed School, 2016). Also, having female teachers and superiors adds to the quality of the education little girls receive, since they’ll have a female figure to look up to and take example of (Girls Not Brides, 2016).
Education of Parents
One of the main reasons leading to child marriage is the lack of awareness of the parents who encourage their children to get married at an early age. For instance, a twelve-year-old girl can’t stand against the will of her parents since she is taught to believe that they are always right. Therefore, parents should be aware of the danger behind marrying their child at an early age (The World Bank, 2017). It is necessary to educate parents and eliminate the stereotypes and misconceptions they have towards their daughters. Since they believe that women are bound to work at home and do not have a role in the workplace, parents should become aware of their daughters’ capabilities and grant them the freedom of choice (Osman, 2015). It is crucial to teach them the alternatives they can propose to their daughters such as education. Therefore, for the children to become educated, it is necessary to educate the parents first (Population Reference Bureau, 2015).
Educated parents know the value and importance of education. They know that marrying their daughter at an early age will not ease the economic burden and are aware of the consequences of early marriage (Nguyen, 2012). On another hand, a daughter of uneducated parents will inherit their restricted mentality and will most likely imitate them and force her children into early marriage as well (Population Reference Bureau, 2015). In fact, as reported by Leyla Dirani, the victim “always blames herself and her parents, saying ‘I was not able to finish my education. I was not tough enough to challenge, oppose and revolt. I was not able to achieve what I could achieve, because I had been married off at such a young age’” (Personal interview, 2017). This shows to what extent the lack of education of refugee parents can affect their daughters’ lives.
In addition, educated parents can differentiate between religion and their daughter’s sake. Usually, parents in traditional societies tend to neglect the consequences of child marriage under the name of religion, since they believe that they would be abiding by God’s rules (Nguyen, 2012). In fact, most of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon are Muslim extremists. However, their illiteracy causes their misinterpretation and misunderstanding of the Quran. A vast majority believes that the Quran states that girls should be married immediately after getting their period. Thus, refugee parents often feel obliged to marry their daughters at a very young age, in respect to the Quran (Council on Foreign Relations, 2013). However, Sani Ahmed Yerima, Nigerian senator, states that “Islamic law allows marriage not by age but by maturity, which is attained once a girl reaches the age of puberty” (Yerima, 2013). Contrarily to what Syrian refugee parents believe, Muslim girls can get married once they reached puberty but do not have to. This shows how much the illiteracy of refugee parents impacts their daughters’ futures and lives (Council on Foreign Relations, 2013).
To solve these religious misinterpretations, religious figures or community leaders could educate the refugees about what is truly said in the Quran and about the consequences of early marriage and the negative impact it has on the child (Nguyen, 2012). In fact, since most of the Syrian refugees are very religious, they view religious leaders as role models and moral leaders. They go to their local Sheikh for advice and counseling and believe almost every word that is said to them. Therefore, a useful approach would be if the religious figures of the regions educated the refugees about the Quran and guided them towards the right path for them and for their daughters (Girls Not Brides, 2016). They could teach them about is really said in the Quran and let them understand the true meaning of the ideas and laws mentioned. This would reduce the misconceptions and misunderstandings they have about their daughters and will allow them to distinguish between their daughters’ rights and duties (Granados, 2015).
Support of NGOs Fighting for Girls’ Rights
To educate refugee children in schools, Lebanese citizens should start by supporting NGOs and charities fighting for girls’ rights. There are many organizations such as Girls Not Brides, UN and KAFA that are already dealing with this issue in Lebanon. The key role of these NGOs consists of spreading awareness in traditional and patriarchal societies. The ICRW concluded that only 2 out of 66 programs targeted married girls while 73% of the programs targeted societies and communities (ICRW, 2017). NGOs should focus more on child brides and victims so that they become aware of what they are capable of and learn how to raise their voices and speak up. Victims find refuge in NGOs hoping for change and a better future. It is crucial to spread awareness and educate society too, but it is more important to guide children first and teach them how to make their own decisions and have a say in what is presented to them (Council on Foreign Relations, 2016). Lebanese citizens should also support NGOs fighting for gender equality and child abuse such as Himaya, UNDP, UNFPA and others, because child marriage is directly linked to these two other key issues. Supporting and encouraging such NGOs would contribute to the effectiveness and spreading of awareness of the dangers of child marriage (Lewis, 2011).
It is also important to volunteer and help such NGOs to make a change. For example, one of the feasible approaches would be to go into refugee camps where NOGs would organize workshops and discussions and talk directly to the refugees to increase the quality of awareness and to ensure that the message is delivered. The talks could be divided into two categories: the ones with the parents and the ones with the children and particularly the daughters. First, the talks with the parents could include information about the harms and dangers of child marriage. For example, they could inform them about the health risks and higher rates of pregnancy complications that might lead to the death of the child. Also, they could include talks about all the opportunities that await their daughters if they go to school and graduate; which can later compensate for the money spent on their education thanks to the financial income that they will earn (Girls Not Brides, 2016).
Second, the discussions with the daughters are the most crucial ones. Other than educating the daughters about the importance of going to school, these talks would also provide health information for girls concerning reproduction, pregnancy and possible diseases they can catch. They would teach them how to avoid unwanted pregnancies and would help them understand their bodies as women. Such discussions would also educate girls about their rights and particularly their right to consent and to refuse. These events would be a chance for little girls to open up and talk about their feelings, emotions, fears and desires. NGOs would then understand better the reality of the situation they live and would therefore be able to provide better help taking into consideration the needs of each one of them.
In addition, NGOs can use the donations they receive throughout the years to provide additional support and help. They could offer the refugees clothes, house furniture such as beds, food and water to reduce their expenses and help them save money.
Finally, although child marriage remains one of the most crucial issues all over the world and is still rising in some regions with the increase of refugees, it is not impossible to find a solution for it. The illiteracy of Syrian refugee parents in Lebanon makes it tougher to solve the issue. However, with the help of local organizations, NGOs and volunteers, educating both the parents and the children seems like a feasible approach. Yet, such problems can’t be fully eradicated by just proposing solutions. It might take many years of hard work, but will hopefully lead to promising results. Today, 400 million of the women now aged between 20 and 49 were married before the age of 18 (International Women’s Health Coalition, 2017). These numbers are still growing and won’t cease to grow unless something is done about it to change girls’ lives for the better.
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American University of Beirut
Submitted by: Rindala Fayyad & Helena Saadeh
Submitted to: Dr. Zane Sinno
English 203 Section 4