About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us

Child Marriages on a Rise, Warns UN

by Dr. Enozia Vakil on March 10, 2013 at 5:36 PM
Font : A-A+

Child Marriages on a Rise, Warns UN

The United Nations Population Fund expects around 140 million child brides between 2011 and 2020.

If current levels of child marriages hold, 14.2 million girls annually or 39,000 daily will marry too young.


Furthermore, of the 140 million girls who will marry before the age of 18, 50 million will be under the age of 15.

Despite the physical damage and the persistent discrimination to young girls, little progress has been made toward ending the practice of child marriage.

In fact, the problem threatens to increase with the expanding youth population in the developing world.

"Child marriage is an appalling violation of human rights and robs girls of their education, health and long-term prospects," Babatunde Osotimehin, M.D, Executive Director, UNFPA, said.

"A girl who is married as a child is one whose potential will not be fulfilled. Since many parents and communities also want the very best for their daughters, we must work together and end child marriage," Osotimehin added.

Girls married young are more vulnerable to intimate partner violence and sexual abuse than those who marry later.

"Complications of pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death in young women aged 15-19. Young girls who marry later and delay pregnancy beyond their adolescence have more chances to stay healthier, to better their education and build a better life for themselves and their families," Flavia Bustreo, M.D., Assistant Director-General for Family, Women's and Children's Health at the World Health Organization, said.

If child marriage is not properly addressed, UN Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 - calling for a two-thirds reduction in the under-five mortality rate and a three-fourths reduction in the maternal deaths by 2015 - will not be met.

Child marriage - defined as marriage before the age of 18 - applies to both boys and girls, but the practice is far more common among young girls.

Child marriage is a global issue, but rates vary dramatically, both within and between countries. In both proportions and numbers, most child marriages take place in rural sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

In South Asia, nearly half of young women and in sub-Saharan Africa more than one third of young women are married by their 18th birthday.

The 10 countries with the highest rates of child marriage are: Niger, 75 percent; Chad and Central African Republic, 68 percent; Bangladesh, 66 percent; Guinea, 63 percent; Mozambique, 56 percent; Mali, 55 percent; Burkina Faso and South Sudan, 52 percent; and Malawi, 50 percent.

In terms of absolute numbers, because of the size of its population, India has the most child marriages and a prevalence of 47 percent.

Source: ANI

News A-Z
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Top 7 Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene
Healthy and Safer Thanksgiving 2021
Long-Term Glycemic Control - A Better Measure of COVID-19 Severity
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Is Life Better Staying Single or Getting Married? Christianson Syndrome 

Recommended Reading
Change In Law on Rape and Child Marriage Awaited By Morocco
As the kingdom's parliament works to amend a law that allows a rapist to escape prison by marrying ....
Orissa Tribals Decide to Ban Child Marriages
Moving ahead of their traditional practices, tribal communities of Tutiaguda in Orissa's Koraput ......
Girl Child Marriages Decline in South Asia
Study says that girl child marriages have significantly declined since 1991....
Prevalence of Child Marriages Rampant in Rural Odisha: Survey
A recent survey by the government has found that about six percent of rural women in Odisha get ......
Christianson Syndrome
Christianson syndrome is a condition that occurs due to mutations (abnormal changes) in the gene SLC...
Is Life Better Staying Single or Getting Married?
The stigma linked to staying single is gradually disappearing. More people opt to stay single and ma...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use