This is a sponsored post for Plan-UK.org
Did you know that 14 million girls under the age of 18 are married every year? That is 27 girls every minute.
In certain countries such as Chad, Mali, Niger, Guinea and Bangladesh, the rate of early and forced marriage is 60 percent and over. Also, in South Asia the rate of child brides is 46 percent and in Sub-Saharan Africa is 38 percent. Early or forced marriage usually takes place in situations where there is a culture of gender inequality. In these cultures, women and girls occupy a lower status in the society and they are denied many rights and their ability to play an equal role. It is also prevalent in societies that are in poverty, because a young girl is thought to be an economic burden on her family and her marriage benefits the family both economically and socially.
What are the negative consequences of child marriage?
There are a number of serious negative consequences that result from a child or teenage girl being forced into this type of marriage. Here are a few of the major issues:
Dangers of Young Pregnancy
Child brides are often forced into sexual relations with her husband and she will often become pregnant at an early age. This is very dangerous for the young woman, as studies have found that the younger the mother the higher the risk she will die in childbirth. Females aged 10-14 are up to five times more likely to due during their pregnancy or childbirth than women who are aged 20-24. Girls aged 15-19 are twice as likely to die.
Also, young pregnancy puts the child at risk as well. Mortality rates for babies that are born to mothers younger than 20 are nearly 75% higher than children born to older mothers. The statistics states that these children of young mothers are much more likely to be premature and to be at risk for contracting HIV and AIDS.
These young brides are often pulled out of school and are not able to continue their education. They will not learn the ability to read and write or build on their skills. They will not have the education needed for employment, which makes it extremely difficult for them to break out of the cycle of poverty.
Lack of Reproductive Knowledge
This lack of education also means that the young brides involved have a lack of knowledge about their sexual health and their bodies. These are often taboo topics in many of these cultures, which makes things worse. This means that the girl is unable to make informed decisions regarding her sexual relations, her health and her family.
Abuse and Violence
Studies have shown that women who marry very young have a higher chance of believing that it is occasionally okay for a husband to beat his wife, which means that they are likely to stay within abusive marriages and experience violent behaviour.
These are just a few of the reasons why early and forced marriage has terrible consequences on the young women involved. Contact Plan UK today to find out more about forced marriage how we plan to put an end to this practice.