State of the World Population Report 2016

No. of pages: 116

Publication date: 2016

Author: UNFPA

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When a girl reaches age 10, her world changes. A flurry of life-changing events pulls her in many directions. Where she ends up depends on the support she receives and the power she has to shape her own future. In some parts of the world, a 10-year-old girl, on the verge of adolescence, sees limitless possibilities ahead and begins making choices that will influence her education and, later, her work and her life.

But in other parts of the world, a 10-year-old girl’s horizons are limited. As she reaches puberty, a formidable combination of relatives, figures in her community, social and cultural norms, institutions and discriminatory laws block her path forward. By age 10, she may be forced to marry. She may be pulled out of school to begin a lifetime of childbearing and servitude to her husband. At 10, she may become property, a commodity that can be bought and sold.