Ending Early and Child Marriage

In the last 10 years, Bangladesh has moved up the ranks from having the third highest rate of child marriage in the world to the eighth highest as of 2016. But whether the upward trend will continue is difficult to predict given the shifting legal landscape.

For both girls and boys, early marriage leads to profound physical, intellectual, psychological and emotional impacts, often interrupting education and hindering personal growth. For girls, in addition, it will almost certainly mean premature pregnancy and childbearing, and is likely to lead to a lifetime of domestic and sexual subservience over which they have little or no control. Some are forced into marriage at a very early age. Others are merely too young to make an informed decision about their partner or about the implications of marriage itself. They may have given what passes for ‘consent’ in the eyes of custom or the law, but in reality, consent to their binding marital contract has been made by others on their behalf. Without getting into the debate over exceptions and “special cases” of marriage-age laws, this article is to remind ourselves the socio-cultural challenges that remain deeply rooted: rights and control of girls’ bodies, aspirations and choice.

Reference: http://www.thedailystar.net/towards-just-and-inclusive-society/asking-the-right-questions-1367665

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