bitter truth: Every day, more than 60 girls are sacrificed as a result of child marriage.
more than 22,000 girls are losing their lives every year due to early marriage, which means that child marriage is killing more than 60 girls every day
Raima, who resides in Assam, lost her father's job when she was 14 years old due to a lockdown induced by Covid-19. He received a proposal for Raima's marriage at that time, in the midst of his battle to raise his family. He accepted because the money from the marriage could help him with a number of his financial issues.
He agreed to reject the proposal after Raima's mother objected. Am Raima is in school today, finishing her studies. However, not everyone has the same fate as Raima, and many young girls are married without their knowledge.
According to the global girlhood report 2021, a new report released recently by the international organisation Save the Children, more than 22,000 girls die each year as a result of early marriage, which means that child marriage kills more than 60 girls every day.
The majority of these lives are lost as a result of carrying the burden of pregnancy and delivery in childhood, as girls face health complications associated with it at a young age, when their bodies are not ready for it.
When it comes to the death of girls as a result of child marriage, the highest number of deaths occur in Central and West Africa, where the rate of child marriage is the highest. It is estimated that approximately 9,600 girls die each year as a result of childhood marriages. Furthermore, the regional maternal mortality rate in adolescence is nearly four times higher than anywhere else in the world.
When it comes to South Asia, the figure is 2,000, which means that six girls die every day in South Asia as a result of child marriage. East Asia and the Pacific region have 650 deaths per year, while South America and the Caribbean have 560.
Every year, 1.2 crore girls marry before the age of 18.
The recent data released by the UNFPA, which shows that approximately 1.2 crore girls marry before the age of 18, demonstrates the gravity of the problem of child marriage. It is estimated that approximately 650 million women and girls worldwide married before reaching the age of 18. Child marriage is most common in East and South Africa, where 31% of girls marry when they are young. This is having a negative impact on both their physical and mental health. It is an egregious violation of their human rights.
Child marriage, according to experts, has a negative impact on girls' health, education, and safety. It not only promotes sexual violence but also jeopardises their health. These girls face risky pregnancy and childbirth as a result of their early marriage, which is a major threat to their lives. Not only that, but it raises the risk of contracting HIV. It is estimated that 95 out of every thousand girls between the ages of 15 and 19 became mothers for the first time.
However, since 2000, there has been a decrease in the number of cases of child marriage. Around the year 2000, one in every three women between the ages of 20 and 24 reported having married before the age of 18. In 2017, the figure was one in every five. While the rate of child marriage for girls under the age of 15 has decreased from 11% in 2000 to 5% in 2017, Nonetheless, this practise is still practised in many countries around the world today.
according to the world health organization, about 12 million children between the ages of 15 and 19 give birth every year in developing countries. the figure for girls below the age of 15 years is about 7.8 lakh.
Where cases of child marriage have come down in south Asia in the last decade. the burden of child marriage has now shifted to sub-Saharan Africa. where the child marriage figure was one in five a decade ago, it has now increased to one in three. however, when it comes to numbers, the highest number of children in south Asia are still married in childhood.
Girls' lives will be difficult during the Corona period.
Child marriage has been affected by the way the corona epidemic has affected the world from above. According to the UNFPA, this has resulted in an increase in cases of gender-based violence. It is estimated that more than 20 lakh circumcision cases will be reported in the next decade as a result of the epidemic's disruption of prevention programmes.
According to Save the Children, 1 million more girls will have to bear the burden of pregnancy in 2020 as a result of the global economic crisis caused by Covid-19. According to the UNFPA, 1.4 million cases of unwanted pregnancy could be reported each year as a result of the epidemic's disruption in contraceptive devices. According to UNICEF, the epidemic could result in an additional 10 million cases of child marriage by 2030. Similarly, South Asia, including India, may face another 10 lakh child marriage cases by 2025.
This practise is still practised not only in Africa and other developing countries, but also in India and many developed countries around the world. According to a Save the Children report, Telangana alone reported 1355 cases of attempted child marriage between April 2020 and March 2021, which is approximately 27% more than the previous year. This heinous practise appears to be not only present, but also on the rise in the right country.
In such a case, it is critical that this issue be taken seriously. It is necessary to oppose evil practises such as child marriage not only legally but also socially. It is critical that the girls' voices be heard they, too, have the right to make their own decisions. They also have the right to shape their lives, read, write, play, and build a better future, which cannot be taken away from them.