Child Brides in India

2660 words 11 pages
Shaymaa Nagud
Sociology 364
12/08/11
Child Brides in India In many societies, marriage is a celebrated institution commemorating the union between two consenting adults and the beginning of their lives together. However, this experience and celebration is different for the millions of girls around the world who are forced to wed while still children, some not even yet teenagers. Child marriage is a marriage that occurs between two people where one or two of the partners is under 18. While boys are also married under the age of 18, girls far outnumber boys in child marriages. It is usually forced and occurs often to girls who are ages 12 to16 years old[2]. The husband is also often several years older than his wife, sometimes even
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“Every penny spent in educating and feeding and clothing her is a waste because ultimately she’s going to be given away which will glean the off another family, benefits“. [1] Giving away a daughter in marriage also means that she is no longer the responsibility of the family, which to them, is one less mouth to feed. Dowry which, like child marriage is illegal, but still sanctioned in many parts of the country. “Dowry, which is formally a gift to a daughter being married, is actually more like a bribe to a groom to take one’s daughter off one’s hands”.[1] Of course grooms have different professions, and so there is an unspoken but “established ‘going rates’ for dowry”.[1]
These marriages not only violate these girls’ basic rights, but also have profound “physical, intellectual, psychological, and emotional impacts, cutting off educational opportunity and chances of personal growth”.[5] Because their bodies still haven’t completely matured and they’re not emotionally ready, they can have premature births, girls “younger than 15 are five times more likely to die during child birth or pregnancy than older women” [3]. Because of this, the leading cause of mortality for girls between the ages 15 to 19 worldwide, is pregnancy-related deaths. Not only do mothers face the risk of dying during pregnancy, but also the infants as well. “Mortality rates for babies born to mothers under age 20 are almost 75%

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