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Thread: ~%~ llegal Underage Marriages Still Rampant in India ~%~

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    Default ~%~ llegal Underage Marriages Still Rampant in India ~%~



    T
    hough India raised the legal age for marriage for girls to 18 in 1978, the prevalence of child marriage remains high, a study by the Boston University School of Public Health has found. "I can say that the existing policy that makes marriage of girls under 18 years illegal is not working," said. Anita Raj, associate professor, social and behavioral sciences, who led the study.


    Nearly half of adult Indian women aged 20 to 24 -- 44.5 per cent -- were married before the legal age of 18, the study noted. More than one in five -- 22.6 per cent -- were married before age 16, while 2.6 per cent were married before age 13.

    Bihar topped the list in the number of child marriages, followed by Jharkhand and Rajasthan. The fewest child marriages occur in Goa, followed by Manipur, Madhya Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Kerala.

    Image: A young Indian bride, Sheela, 8, sits besides her fourteen-year-old groom Daulat Ram (2nd L) during their marriage ceremony at Rajgarh district in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh. Despite a government ban on child marriages, the practice is still very common in rural India.
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    'The girl child is a burden'


    The study, published in the prestigious medical journal Lancet, found there is not much difference between Hindus and Muslims in the per centage of child marriages. "More people in rural areas with poverty marry off their girls early. For them the girl child is a burden," Dr Raj said.

    'The prevalence of child marriage remains unacceptably high. Neither recent progress in economic and women's development, nor existing policy or programmatic efforts to prevent child marriage and promote maternal and child health, have been sufficient to reduce the number of child marriage in India to that of most other developing nations,' Dr Raj and co-authors wrote.

    'National economic development gains have inadequately targeted the most rural and poor populations, which might have hindered further reduction in child marriage,' they added.

    Image: Fourteen-year-old child bride Lalita Saini (R) attends an interview with Reuters at Alsisar village, north of Jaipur. According to a 2006 government survey, around 45 percent of girls in India are married before the legal age of 18.
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    Child marriage increased the health risks

    The only consolation is that there is a 5 per cent reduction in the number of child marriages, compared with national data from 1998-1999.

    The study found that women who married younger than 18 were significantly more likely to report no contraceptive use before their first childbirth than were those who married as adults. Nearly half -- 48.4 per cent -- of women who were married as children reported giving birth before they turned 18. Women married as children also were more likely to have had repeat childbirths in less than 24 months and to have had three or more childbirths, than those married as adults.



    Child marriage also was associated with an increased prevalence of unwanted pregnancies and an increased prevalence of pregnancy termination, defined as miscarriage, abortion or stillbirth.



    The study found sterilization rates were higher for women married as children than for those married as adults -- 19.5 per cent, compared to 4.6 per cent. Overall, more than one in eight women, or 13.4 per cent, had been sterilized.



    Image: Activists carry children dressed as bride and groom on their shoulders to protest the practice of child marriage in India, at the World Social Forum in Bombay.
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    'Educating the families is important'

    'Increased prevalence of sterilization in young women married as children could be attributable to these women having their desired number of children at an earlier age, as indicated by their high fertility,' the authors wrote. 'However, our findings suggest that sterilization might also be the consequence of inadequate fertility control, which is evident from the increased risk of unwanted pregnancies in women married as children.'


    Asked what the Indian government can do to reduce the problem, Raj said, "Efforts to improve the status of women and girls would go far to address the issue. Simultaneously, there should be more support for adolescent wives, particularly with regard to use of spacing contraception and delayed first childbirth."



    She said married girls should get advice and help to delay pregnancy. Educating the families is also important, she explained. They should be made aware that girls are not a burden and they can also make money through education and employment.
    The study was done in cooperation with the government of India.



    Image: Chandar Singh, 18, and his bride Asha, 14, sit in a temple during their marriage ceremony at a temple in Rajgarh district of Madhya Pradesh. Child marriages continue throughout India despite the Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1978 which outlaws the marriage of underaged children.
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    'This study showed how pervasive child-marriage is'


    "This study was conducted to provide insight into how pervasive the practice of girl child marriage is in India and to determine what the impact of such marriages has on fertility rates in India. Much research has assumed this to be the case, but analyses of these issues are somewhat dated," she said.

    "These data are collected with India every six-seven years to provide a demographic and health profile of women in the country. This is part of a cross-national effort. We were not involved in this data collection; we analyzed the data to produce this paper," she said.

    Other authors on the study were Dr Niranjan Saggurti of the Population Council, New Delhi; Dr Donta Balaiah of the National Institute for Research in Reproductive Health, Indian Council of Medical Research, Mumbai; and Jay G Silverman, associate professor, Department of Society, Human Development, and Health, Harvard School of Public Health.

    The study was funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health and the Indian Council on Medical Research Indo-US Program on Maternal and Child Health and Human Development.

    Image: Inder Singh (R), 14, and his bride Ram Bai, 13, stand outside a temple during their marriage ceremony in Rajgarh.
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    Tfs!!!!!!!!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by rikkuartz View Post
    Tfs!!!!!!!!!
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    thx 4 the info ...

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    Nice.........Thanks 4 sharing
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    Quote Originally Posted by roseboy11 View Post
    thx 4 the info ...
    Quote Originally Posted by sweetooo.baba View Post
    Nice.........Thanks 4 sharing
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    Thanks for Sharing Bro............
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    Quote Originally Posted by nutkhutsunny View Post
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