What is CHILD MARRIAGE? What does CHILD MARRIAGE mean? CHILD MARRIAGE meaning - CHILD MARRIAGE definition - CHILD MARRIAGE explanation.
Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license.
Child marriage is defined by global organizations as a formal marriage or informal union entered into by an individual before reaching the age of 18. The legally prescribed marriageable age in some jurisdictions is below 18 years, especially in the case of girls; and even when the age is set at 18 years, many jurisdictions permit earlier marriage with parental consent or in special circumstances, such as teenage pregnancy. In certain countries, even when the legal marriage age is 18, cultural traditions take priority over legislative law. Child marriage affects both boys and girls, though the overwhelming majority of those affected are girls, most of whom are in poor socioeconomic situations.
Child marriage is related to child betrothal, and it includes civil cohabitation and court approved early marriages after teenage pregnancy. In many cases, only one marriage-partner is a child, usually the female. Causes of child marriages include poverty, bride price, dowry, cultural traditions, laws that allow child marriages, religious and social pressures, regional customs, fear of remaining unmarried, illiteracy, and perceived inability of women to work for money.
Child marriages were common throughout history for a variety of reasons, including poverty, insecurity, as well as for political and financial reasons. Today, child marriage is still fairly widespread in developing countries, such as parts of Africa, South Asia, Southeast Asia, West Asia, Latin America, and Oceania. The incidence of child marriage has been falling in most parts of the world. The countries with the highest observed rates of child marriages below the age of 18 are Niger, Chad, Mali, Bangladesh, Guinea and the Central African Republic, with a rate above 60%. Niger, Chad, Bangladesh, Mali and Ethiopia were the countries with child marriage rates greater than 20% below the age of 15, according to 2003-2009 surveys.
Historically, child marriage was common around the world. The practice began to be questioned in the 20th century, with the age of individuals' first marriage increasing in many countries and most countries increasing the minimum marriage age.
In ancient and medieval societies, it was common for girls to be betrothed at or even before puberty. As Friedman claims, "arranging and contracting the marriage of a young girl were the undisputed prerogatives of her father in ancient Israel." Most girls were married before the age of 15, often at the start of their puberty. In the Middle Ages the age at marriage seems to have been around puberty throughout the Jewish world.
Ruth Lamdan writes: “The numerous references to child marriage in the 16th- century Responsa literature and other sources, shows that child marriage was so common, it was virtually the norm. In this context, it is important to remember that in halakha, the term ‘minor’ refers to a girl under twelve years and a day. A girl aged twelve and a half was already considered an adult in all respects.”
In Greece, early marriage and motherhood for girls was encouraged. Even boys were expected to marry in their teens. Early marriages and teenage motherhood was typical. In Ancient Rome, girls married above the age of 12 and boys above 14. In the Middle Ages, under English civil laws that were derived from Roman laws, marriages before the age of 16 were common. In Imperial China, child marriage was the norm.