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Oct 13, 2016 04:11 AM EDT

’Beauty And The Beast’ Actress Emma Watson Says Child Marriage Hinders Girls' Education

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During her recent visit to Malawi, 'Beauty and the Beast' actress Emma Watson challenges the nation to end child marriages.

Being a representative of the United Nations Women, Emma Watson knows it is her responsibility as a humanitarian representative to end this practice. And she calls on the authorities across Africa to end child marriages.

Child marriages puts the lives of young girls at risk and at the same time prohibits them from getting the right to education. Which leaves them at a disadvantaged for a bright and better future, cites Sky News.

She wants to make sure her message is heard before the International Day of The Girl happened. First Lady Michelle Obama also talks about education and calls on the different cultures on the world to vote for change. She uses America's women for example. A hundred years ago, women could not vote. Now, because of men and women, young and old, fighting for a change in system, they can now vote.

Emma Watson hopes to do the same for the young girls of Africa. Last year, Malawi passed a law to raise the minimum age of young girls getting married to 18 years old. Before the law was passed, a study showed that one in three girls in developing countries (excluding China) are married before they turn 18 years old. This denies them their childhood experience and the right to go to school. The tradition of marrying little girls off to men has been long protected and Watson is excited to see changes happening.

"Meeting with young girls, who like many in their country, are struggling with poverty and were pressured into early marriage ... [This] made me realize just how important it is for women to be able to make their own choices," says Watson.

But there is still work to be done. Even though Malawi has made child marriage illegal, there are still more developing countries that practice early marriages.

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