The effects of child marriage are widespread on girls, which persists even after adulthood. Women who get married before or after adolescence suffer from health problems as a result of early pregnancy. Early pregnancy causes complications in childbirth. Pregnancy in poor countries is tied to education at a young age, which hinders their economic survival. Child victims are usually victims of domestic violence, child sexual abuse, and marital rape.
Child marriage is a threat to girls’ health and life. The complications of pregnancy and childbirth are one of the leading causes of female death in the developing world. The probability of maternal mortality in pregnant women aged 15-19 years is double as high as in pregnant women of 20 years. And for women under the age of 15, maternal mortality is 5-7 times more likely. Women who give birth before 15 years are about 88% more likely to develop a fistula. Which is one of the causes of various infections? Married women over the age of 20 are more likely to have transmitted diseases.
Child marriage effects is a threat not only to the health of the mother but also to the health of the baby. The probability of giving birth to unmarried offspring or underweight of 18 years is 35-55%. Moreover, the infant mortality rate is 60% when the mother is below 18 years of age. Women who give birth at an early age are vulnerable to disease and children are more likely to suffer from malnutrition. The prevalence of child marriage is due to the rise in population.
Illiteracy and Poverty
The education of early childhood girls ends in life, usually in underdeveloped countries. , illiterate girls have higher child marriage rates. For girls who have completed primary education, the probability of marrying under 18 years is double as high as those with secondary education. And under the age of 18, illiterate girls are almost three times more likely to get married than secondary educated girls. After marriage for the sake of family responsibilities and child-rearing, most girls’ education life is disrupted. Without education, there is little way for women and women to earn a living. This is why women have to fight poverty, especially if their husbands die or they get divorced. As a result of child marriage effects, girls are younger than their husbands, so they become widows at an early age and suffer economic and social crises.
The rate of domestic violence is higher for under-educated married girls at a young age. After marriage, the husband usually has to move to a village or other area because of his family. As a result, life becomes a reality, and away from her family and friends, she loses social support and support. She thinks her husband will be obedient since she is young. This isolation from the family becomes the cause of women’s emotional distress.
As the age of the husband becomes more severe, the incidence of violence and coercion is more on the girls. Married girls at an early age suffer more from post-violence violence. Marriage at an early age relies on the husband. Family and sexual abuse make them mentally and upset for the rest of their lives because that is the time to build their emotional development. This is why they think of depression and even suicide.
The United Nations declares that child marriage is a threat to human rights. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights set some international policies aimed at preventing child marriage. Child marriage violates any other rights and rights of women. For example, equality on the basis of gender and age, ensuring the highest standards in the health sector, freedom from slavery, the right to education, freedom of movement, freedom from violence, and the right to consent to the marriage. Violations of these laws have implications not only on women but also on children and the wider society.
Child marriage at high rates effects the economy of the country as early marriage prevents women from participating in education and labor market. According to some researchers, high rates of child marriage impede each of the eight-millennium development goals and global efforts to ease poverty.
According to a UNICEF Nepal report, early marriage disrupted production, increased poverty, led to health problems, which affected Nepal’s development. According to a survey, women who get married after 20 years can increase the country’s GDP by 3.87%. A review of this calculation shows that early marriage reduces the rate of female education and increases the unemployment rate, as well as the low rate of education and high rate of poverty among their children.
International steps to prevent child marriage
On December 2011, the United Nations General Assembly was declared October 11 as International Girls’ Children’s Day. On October 11, 2012, the first International Children’s Day was celebrated, whose main theme was the abolition of child marriage.
At the first UN Human Rights Meeting in 2013, the policy was set against child marriage and forced marriage. It states that early marriage is a violation of human rights and it is resolved to abolish the practice.
A document was submitted to 2014 the UN Commission on the Status of Women in the United Nations, where, among other things, a consensus was reached on the elimination of child marriage.
According to the World Health Organization’s advice, one of the main ways to prevent early marriage is to educate women, act on the least age of marriage, and inform parents about the risk of early marriage. Various programs have been taken to prevent child marriage. Various steps include empowering women, informing parents about the risks of early marriage, changing the outlook of society, supporting women’s education and providing financial support to women and their families.
The local government of Haryana state in India adopted a program to provide financial support to poor families if they send their daughters to school for 18 years without getting married. As a result, the marriage rate of girls under the age of 18 decreases.
In the table below, the percentage of married women between the ages of 20-24 years, who have married 18 years ago. Data from the International Women’s Research Center (ICRW) and UNICEF are based on surveys on women aged 10-20 years and UN data on surveys on women aged 10-15 years.
|County||Women married before 18 years |
[ ICRW-UNICEF ]
|Women married before 1 year |