With over 10 crore Indians, including 8.5 crore girls, being married off before they turn 18, every third child bride in the world is Indian, says a report.
The report, titled ‘Eliminating Child Marriage in India’, was released by Action Aid India on Friday. The report analyses data on child marriage based on the 2011 Census.
The report found that there had been some improvements in the age of marriage, but that India still accounted for about 33% of all child marriages in the world. Of the married female population in India, 30.2% had been child brides.
The report also found that 75% of all child marriages took place in rural areas as on 2011.
Among states, Uttar Pradesh accounted for the highest percentage of child marriages in India, at 16.6%. Seven states, viz. UP, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Bihar, Maharashtra and MP accounted for 70% of the total child marriages in India.
What could be the cause behind this?
Chairperson of Action Aid India Shabana Azmi designated patriarchy as the root cause of child marriage. She added that patriarchy has to be tackled to eliminate child marriages in India, which can be done by spreading education and building confidence in the girls so that they can resist forced child marriages.
What are the possible implications of child marriages?
Author of the report Srinivas Goli highlighted that it’s not just the violation of human rights, but there can be economic problems too. He said that women are half of the population and if we cannot combat child marriage, it may increase the extent of unhealthy and unskilled labour force. This, he added, can be a great hindrance to the economic prospects of the country.
The Hindu (You can download ‘The Hindu’ newspaper for free from a facebook page – UPSC Aspirants Forum)