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One in every three females in the developing world gets married before the age of eighteen; one in every nine gets married before the age of fifteen.

A child is defined as a male under the age of twenty-one and a female under the age of eighteen under the Child Marriage Prohibition Act of 1929. Getting a child married or engaging in it is a criminal offense under this act. Child marriage means any legal marriage or illegal partnership between two minor children of eighteen or under eighteen or a child with an adult. Child marriage is a violation of human rights. Despite the law prohibiting it, the practice is still prevalent globally.

The reasons for underage marriages are numerous. Some of the well-known causes of child marriages include a sense of insecurity; increased food insecurity, poverty, cultural and religious traditions, and joblessness.


Child Marriage Child marriage negatively influences the health and lives of minor girls. | Flickr


According to UNFPA; Poverty and financial survival practices, gender bias, control over sexuality and protecting the family's reputation; culture, and tradition, and insecurity, especially during the war, famine, or pandemics, are all elements that promote and enhance child marriage.

According to a report by UNICEF, South Asia has the highest rate of child marriage in the world. Almost half (45%) of all women aged 20-24 years reported being married before the age of 18. Almost one-in-five girls (17%) are married before the age of 15.

Outcomes of Child Marriage

  • Child marriage negatively influences the health and lives of minor girls.
  • A girl's schooling comes to an end because of child marriage. Early marriage limits a young girl's capacity to complete her studies as most drop out of school after marriage to focus on domestic chores and having or raising kids.
  • Married teen girls with limited education are more likely to experience social isolation and domestic abuse than educated women who marry as adults.

Say no to Child marriage. Child marriage violates a number of interrelated women's rights. | Pixabay


  • Child marriage violates a number of interrelated women's rights, including equality on the basis of gender and age, access to education, the right to the best possible health, freedom from slavery, reproductive rights, freedom of movement, freedom from violence, reproductive rights, and the right to marriage with consent.
  • Early marriages negatively impact girls' education and labour market engagement; hence, high rates of child marriage have a negative effect on countries' growth in the economy. Due to its consequences on educational achievement, economic and political engagement, and health, child marriage impedes considerable progress toward each of the eight Millennium Development Goals and worldwide efforts to eradicate poverty.

FACTS:

>According to the UN, every day, 37,000 females under the age of eighteen get married. We now have more married girls and girls at risk of underage marriage than ever before.

>One in every three females in the developing world gets married before the age of eighteen; one in every nine gets married before the age of fifteen.

>If it continues at this rate, almost 140 million girls will marry before reaching the age of Eighteen in the next ten years.

>Globally, about 400 million women between the ages of twenty and forty-nine were married before the age of eighteen.


Keywords: Child, child marriage, women, girls, males, poverty, social cause , UN


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