Bangladesh will be economically benefited if child marriage is stopped

Seventeen-year-old Rahima (not her real name) was married off at the
tender age of 13 when she was a seventh grader. A year and a half
later, she gave birth to her son.
“I was not allowed to go to school after marriage,” she said. “I miss
my friends but what can I do?”
She was barred from going out of home or play with children of her
age after getting pregnant.
“I wish I could continue my studies,” she said. “Honestly, I still do not
feel like a mother and sometimes I do not understand anything at all.”
Underage marriages involving children like Rahima is common in
Bangladesh, which has one of the highest rates of child marriage in
the world.
It is a global menace that shows no sign of slowing down. Every day,
an estimated 41,000 girls are married off before they turn 18. Child
marriage can victimise both girls and boys but its devastating effects
are harder on girls.
Bangladesh could save 11.7% of its total education budget by 2030 by
eliminating child marriage and early childbirths, a recent report by the
World Bank Group and the International Center for Research on Women
said.
Ending child marriage is among the UN’s Sustainable Development
Goals.
According to the “Economic Impacts of Child Marriage: Global
Synthesis Report”, more than one in three girls are married off before
the age of 18, and almost one in five have their first child before they
turn 18.
The report includes Bangladesh as its 15 core countries for the
estimations represent a wide variety of settings, including in terms of
the prevalence of child marriage.
It considered five domains of impacts of child marriage: fertility and
population growth; health, nutrition, and violence; educational
attainment; labour force participation, earnings and productivity; and
decision making and other areas.
World Bank analysis suggests that the economic cost of child marriage
is high. Ending child marriage and early child-bearing could reduce
fertility and lower population growth by about one tenth in high
prevalence countries.
The analysis suggests that globally, by 2030, gains in well-being for
populations from lower population growth could reach more than $500
billion annually.
In 2016, Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics and Implementation,
Monitoring and Evaluation Division, with support from UNICEF,
conducted a real-time monitoring on the coverage of social services in
Bangladesh. Among the 200,000 households interviewed, 35% of
women aged between 20 and 24 years reported getting married before
18.

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