Existence of Child Marriage

Child marriage is a situation wherein either one or both spouses are under 18 years of age. The problem of child marriage is found to be prevalent across all states in India. However, Madhya Pradesh top the charts when we talk about child marriage, owing to the widespread traditional and religious practices carried out there. Compared to boys, girls are severely affected due to this practice of child marriage, due to social & physiological factor, Madhya Pradesh has large number of teenage mothers who is suffering with unnameable miseries entailed by the customs of early marriage. Despite the law banning it, the situation for these children’s rights seems to get no better.

The most telling perpetrators of this practice are elements such as ‘tradition’, ‘family’, ‘social pressure’, and ‘poverty’. Based on the chauvinistic viewpoint that `virginity' is essential in a bride, girls are married off at a very young age—right from a tender age of five years. Due to these societal pressures and misconception related to virginity, 34.1% of women in Madhya Pradesh got married in the aged 15–19 years.

Several parents are simply scared to keep their daughters unmarried after they hit puberty, as they become a huge responsibility, even liability, and therefore, parents get them married at a very young age. When married at a young age, young brides face the risk of sexual and reproductive ill health because of their early exposure to sexual activities and pregnancy. Risks associated with young pregnancy and childbearing also include increased perils associated with premature labour, complications during delivery, and a higher chance that the new-born will not survive. Keeping the age of these young mothers in mind, it is evident that they simply lack parenting skills. Girls with less than 18 years who bear a child have a 60% greater chance of dying in the first year than do mothers who are 19 years or older.