Child marriage around the world is associated with many harmful consequences, including health dangers associated with early pregnancy, lower educational achievement for girls who marry earlier, a higher incidence of spousal violence, and an increased likelihood of poverty.Research shows that globally girls aged 10-14 are five times more likely to die during delivery than mothers aged 20-24; girls aged 15-19 are still twice as likely to die during delivery than women aged 20-24.
This report aims to help answer that question and suggest ways in which Bangladesh’s government can apply effective strategies to achieve comparable success in reducing child marriage.
In Bangladesh there are several factors driving the high rate of child marriage.
Gender discrimination feeds social attitudes and customs that harm girls at every stage of their lives and fuel the country’s extremely high rate of child marriage.
Desperate poverty remains a daily reality for many families in Bangladesh, and many parents see child marriage as their best option to safeguard the future of a daughter they feel they can neither feed nor educate nor protect.
’” Azima said, “I am the oldest and only after I get married can [my sisters] think about getting married. I said I wanted to wait for two years, but they said, ‘No, you should have children now.’ So I guess I will have to have children now.”Bangladesh has the fourth-highest rate of child marriage in the world after Niger, the Central African Republic, and Chad, according to the United Nations children’s agency, UNICEF.
If the river takes the house it will be hard for them to get married.” Azima’s sisters are ages 12, 10, and 8 years old; her parents are now considering a marriage for the 12-year-old.“They’ve already asked me to have children,” Azima, now age 14, said of her in-laws. In the period 2005 to 2013, according to UNICEF, 29 percent of girls in Bangladesh married before the age of 15 and 65 percent married before the age of 18.
At the time of writing, the government still appears to be pushing forward with this proposal, while the process of reforming the law has been delayed.
The development of a national plan of action on ending child marriage has also been delayed and is not complete at the time of writing.
When asked about how they had made decisions about when their daughters should marry, families interviewed for this report talked again and again about poverty.
Girls described parents deciding to marry them off simply because the family was going hungry.
Bangladesh’s status as one of the countries in the world most affected by natural disasters and climate change adds an additional element of hardship to many families, especially those living in the most marginal and disaster-affected parts of the country.