Child Marriage in Bangladesh: Findings from a National Survey 2013
Child marriage is a violation of human rights. It adversely affects education, health and well-being of girls and perpetuates cycles of poverty. Child brides experience the detrimental physical, psychological and social consequences of child marriage. This is a global phenomenon and a grave cause for concern.
Bangladesh has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world. This survey shows that in Bangladesh, 64% of women currently aged 20–24 were married before the age of 18. This is despite the fact that the minimum legal age of marriage for females in Bangladesh is 18 years and 21 for males.
This survey by Plan International Bangladesh and icddr,b finds that a lack of education is strongly associated with levels of child marriage. Not only is this an additional driver, marriage under the age of 18 also deprives girls of their right to education. Many girls drop out of school after entering wedlock. Another adverse effect of child marriage is early pregnancy and childbirth. These can have detrimental and long-term health effects on girls whose bodies are not developed enough to give birth, and also increase health risks to the newborn.