Child marriage refers to a union where one or both parties involved are below the age of 18. It is a deeply rooted social issue prevalent in various parts of the world, particularly in developing countries.
Despite legal prohibitions and global efforts to eradicate it, child marriage continues to persist due to a complex interplay of cultural, social, economic, and gender-related factors.
The practice of child marriage poses severe risks and consequences for young individuals, particularly girls. It deprives them of their childhood, education, and opportunities for personal development.
Early marriage often leads to early pregnancies, putting the health and well-being of young brides at risk due to complications during childbirth. They are more vulnerable to domestic violence and have limited decision-making power within their families and communities.
Furthermore, child marriage perpetuates a cycle of poverty. When girls are married at a young age, they are usually withdrawn from school, which limits their access to education and economic opportunities. This hinders their potential to contribute meaningfully to the economy and society at large.
Efforts to combat child marriage involve a multifaceted approach. It requires legislative measures that raise the minimum age of marriage, along with effective enforcement of these laws.
Moreover, addressing the root causes, such as poverty, lack of education, and gender inequality, is crucial. Empowering girls through education, providing economic opportunities, and engaging communities in dialogue and awareness campaigns are vital steps toward eradicating this harmful practice and ensuring the rights and well-being of children globally.