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Cassandra Clifford
Executive Director and Founder of BTFF

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Looking deeper into child marriage

Everyday across the globe 25,000 girls are married according to World Vision’s report, Before She’s Ready. Despite these shocking statistics the topic of child marriage has become somewhat taboo, to many it is nothingness than unimaginable, but this unspeakable practice while outdated is alive and well in many cultures across the globe.
Why are childhood marriages so common and desired? There are a multitude of reasons that societies continue to practice early marriage and feel the benefits out way any undesirable consequences. For example if a girl is married young her virginity is more likely to be guarantee, but the main reason is that with early marriage come increased economic and social benefits. A wedding in a rural community is a great source of joy and pride for a family, especially the family of the bride, for they can now see that their child is cared for and has a future. Marriage is also of social importance, as the family receives a great standing in the community, based on the family of the groom or bride. Economically the families of the bride additionally benefit with the increase in social status and having one less mouth to feed, and often benefit from a dowry. In rural agricultural societies once families are joined they often pull their resources together to increase their output and probabilities.

Child marriage spans continents, language, religion, caste.Child marriages cover the globe, and are most common in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, including Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh. However child marriages continue in other parts of the world, including South America and among the Roma of Europe.

Previously published by Cassandra Clifford, please continue reading the two part series on the Foreign Policy Association: Children's Rights Blog:http://children.foreignpolicyblogs.com/2011/05/24/looking-deaper-into-child-marriage/

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