Causes of child marriage

Causes of child marriage

Child marriage is when children, especially girls, get married at a very young age, often before they even become teenagers. It’s a common practice in many parts of the world, and sometimes girls as young as eight or nine years old are forced to marry much older men.

People have been trying to put a stop to child marriage in different ways, such as changing the law, teaching communities about the issue, and helping young girls and women become financially independent. But, unfortunately, child marriage is still happening in many places around the world. It’s going to take a big effort to get to the root of the problem and support young girls and women so they can live happy and healthy lives.

Negative consequences of child marriage

Some people believe that child marriage is a good thing because it keeps young girls safe from unwanted attention or helps poor families have enough money. But, it’s important to know that child marriage is a harmful practice that can really hurt young girls physically, emotionally, and socially. It can cause a lot of problems for their health and happiness.

Some of the negative consequences of child marriage include:

  • Increased risk of early and unwanted pregnancies:

When girls get married at a young age, they are often expected to have babies right away. This can be really dangerous for their health and safety. They might not have access to medical care or information about reproductive health, which can cause problems during pregnancy and childbirth.

  • Higher risk of domestic violence and abuse:

When girls get married as children, they are more likely to experience domestic violence and abuse than those who get married when they are older. They might not have the support or resources they need to leave a dangerous situation, which can really hurt them in the long run. It’s important to help young girls and women stay safe and make choices that are good for them.

  • Lower educational attainment:

Child marriage often results in girls dropping out of school, which can limit their future opportunities and earning potential.

  • Poorer mental health outcomes:

Girls who are married off as children are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues than those who marry later in life.

What are the causes of child marriage?

Child marriage is a complex issue with many underlying social, cultural, and economic factors that contribute to its prevalence in different parts of the world. Some of the main causes of child marriage include:


In some parts of the world, families living in poverty may feel like child marriage is the only way to reduce their financial burden. They might marry off their daughters at a young age to secure a dowry or other financial support from the groom’s family, which can help them deal with their economic struggles.

Gender inequality

Child marriage is often a result of patriarchal attitudes and gender inequality. In some communities, girls are considered a financial burden, and parents may see marriage as a way to transfer this burden to the groom’s family. This can be made worse by limited opportunities for education and economic empowerment for girls, which can make them more vulnerable to child marriage.

Traditional and cultural practices

In some cultures and communities, child marriage is seen as a traditional or cultural practice that has been passed down for generations. This can make it really hard to challenge or change these practices, especially in communities where people really value maintaining their cultural traditions.

Lack of education

Many parents may not know about the negative consequences of child marriage because they haven’t been educated about it. They may not understand how harmful it can be to their daughters’ health, education, and future opportunities. They might even think it’s a socially acceptable or even desirable practice.

Conflict and displacement

In times of conflict or displacement, child marriage can become more common as families struggle to cope with the economic and social upheaval caused by these events. Girls might be seen as a burden or as vulnerable to sexual violence in these situations, and parents may feel like marriage is the best way to protect their daughters.

It is important to address the underlying causes of child marriage and work to change the social, cultural, and economic factors that contribute to it. This might involve promoting girls’ education and economic empowerment, challenging patriarchal attitudes and gender inequality, and engaging with communities to change cultural practices around marriage.

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