Unhappily Ever After: An Analysis of Child Marriages in Bangladesh and Niger
Both Bangladesh and Niger are among the world’s poorest countries, while both incidentally have some of the highest rates of child brides. While technically illegal, child marriage is culturally significant and has continued to be prevalent in Bangladesh and Niger. With 76 percent of girls married before they turn eighteen, Niger has the highest rate of child brides in the world. Poverty is a driving factor for many families in Niger to marry girls. In Bangladesh, where 52 percent of girls are married before they turn eighteen, sociocultural norms are a key motivating influence. This paper analyzes the economic motivation behind marrying girls, explains the cyclical role of education, and examines the health-related consequences. Finally, it will provide a brief overview of some solutions that can be utilized to combat this problem.
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