Early/Forced marriage

Afghanistan: Tribal Elders in Khost Have Banned the Use of Girls as Reparation for Crimes and Limited the Bride-Price

Publication Date: 
May 1, 2011
Afghanistan Today
Elders in Khost, Afghanistan. (Photo: Khoshnood)

Until very recently, it was common in Nadir Shah Kot to give a girl away as reparation to avenge a crime. The family of a murderer would marry off a daughter to the victim’s brother or son. It was believed, that in this way, harmony could be restored in the community.

Those who follow the tradition will be punished.

But in December last year, the tribal elders and religious leaders of Nadir Shah Kot, a district in the Eastern province of Khost, decided otherwise. They gathered to end this age-old abusive practice called baad.

Sudan: Early Marriage Often Ends Girls' Education

Publication Date: 
June 1, 2011
A girl from Wau with her belongings, waits for southern Sudan government to transport her back before the secession referendum

UBA (AlertNet) - It took years of pleading before Jane Aketch persuaded her parents to send her to primary school in the dusty bush of South 's Eastern Equatoria state.

Although her parents wanted her to learn how to read and write, like most of the communities in Aketch's home county of Magwi, they did not place particular importance in furthering a girl's education.

"Generally, in South Sudan, girls are supposed to stay at home and clean, while boys attend school," explained the 14-year-old, who is one of five daughters.

Saudi Arabia: Possible move to ban child brides

Publication Date: 
June 7, 2011
Jerusalem Post

In a country where no laws protect children from marriage, efforts to make wedlock more female-friendly raises conservatives’ ire. 

The case of a nine-year-old girl given away in marriage by her father to a 58-year-old man because of argument with his wife shocked many . Widespread media coverage brought the plight of child brides to the fore in the oil-rich Gulf kingdom where no law currently protects children like "the Unayzah girl," as she was called after her home town, from the misery of early marriage.  

Child Marriage: Barrier to girls' empowerment

Publication Date: 
May 23, 2011
Global Health Magazine
Ending child marriage within this generation - Global Health Magazine

An adolescent girl living in poverty could be the most powerful person in the world. If she is reached early enough, she can accelerate economies, arrest major global health issues and break cycles of poverty.

When a girl gets a chance to stay in school, remain healthy, gain skills, she will marry later, have fewer and healthier children, and earn an income that she’ll invest back into her family and community.  When she can grow into a woman and become an educated mother, an economic actor, an ambitious entrepreneur, or a prepared employee, she breaks the cycle of poverty. She and everyone around her benefits.

Yemen: Child brides, Too young to wed

Publication Date: 
May 24, 2011
National Geographic
Yemeni child brides (Photo: National Geographic)

Because the wedding was illegal and a secret, except to the invited guests, and because marriage rites in Rajasthan are often conducted late at night, it was well into the afternoon before the three girl brides in this dry farm settlement in the north of India began to prepare themselves for their sacred vows. They squatted side by side on the dirt, a crowd of village women holding sari cloth around them as a makeshift curtain, and poured soapy water from a metal pan over their heads.

Uganda: HIV/AIDS Challenges with Child Marriages, Polygamy, Civil War

Publication Date: 
April 24, 2011
Women's E-News

In northern Uganda, daughters with limited understanding of HIV/AIDS are married off at young ages into polygamous households still struggling with the legacy of a brutal 16-year civil war. The practice is a recipe for rapid disease transmission.

Bangladesh: High Rate of Child Marriages, Warnings to Parents

Publication Date: 
April 6, 2011
Bangladesh: Many girls continue to marry before 15. (Photo:David Swanson/IRIN)

DHAKA, 6 April 2011 (IRIN) - Despite various government and non-governmental initiatives to stem child marriage in Bangladesh, parents are continuing to marry off their underage daughters, health experts say. 

“Early marriage is a big problem for Bangladesh. We cannot reduce maternal mortality and morbidity if we do not stop early marriage,” Gias Uddin, a project manager for the , the largest family planning NGO in the country, told IRIN. 

Pakistan: Forced marriage - 12-year-old seeks divorce from 35-year-old husband

Publication Date: 
April 8, 2011
The Express Tribune
"End Forced Marriage" Poster
FAISALABAD: 12-year-old Alina* wants a divorce from her 35-year-old husband to whom she was married against her will in January. Her parents and husband’s family are however insistent that the girl live with the man because divorced women are not respected in the society.

Canada: Few disagree that polygamy can cause harm

Publication Date: 
March 31, 2011
Vancouver Sun
The genesis of B.C. Supreme Court case on polygamy is allegations of child brides and exploitation in Bountiful

After more than two months of hearing evidence on polygamy, there’s no one in the Vancouver courtroom who disagrees that the practice can be harmful.

The most disturbing evidence the B.C. government presented is that as many as 31 under-aged girls — the youngest only 12 and 13 — were trafficked by their fathers and brothers between the fundamentalist Mormon communities in Bountiful, B.C. and the United States.

Yemen: Communities Unite Against Child Marriage

Publication Date: 
February 11, 2011
Two community educators prepare for a training session on the safe age of marriage.

Two community educators prepare for a training session on the safe age of marriage. Twenty men and 20 women were selected from a group of religious leaders, nurse midwives, and civic leaders. (Photo: Basic Health Services Project)