Early Child Marriages

Since child marriage has been one of an imperative social issues, which needs to be addressed for the well-being of our society. Child marriage refers to the formal or informal marriage of girl under the age of 18 with a boy, who is much older than girl. It is practised in many parts of world, culture, and societies. Mostly girls of younger age, under 18 or even 15, are married to older men. According to the United Nations (UN), 37,000 girls under the age of 18 are married each day. Moreover, 1 in 3 girls are forced to marry in developing countries before they turn 18-years-old. In addition to this, almost 400 million women whose ages lie between 20–29 were married before the age of 18.

Furthermore, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund(UNICEF) believes that child marriage is a form of violence against children. Its aim is to avert 500,000 child marriages in the region by 2021. Most of the child marriages occur in Sub-Saharan Africa, Central African Republic, and in South Asian region, where 46 per cent of girls are married before the age of 18 , which accounts the largest number of child brides. To one’s surprise, there has been a decline in child marriages in South Asian region from 63 per cent in 1985 to 45 per cent in 2010.

I believe, girls are deprived of their education and health by marrying them at such an early age. Parents think their burden will reduce and they will become economically stable by doing so. However, their thinking is limited: they don’t think broadly; they are putting their daughters life at risk.

Sanaullah Khan