Stages of Development: Marriage of Girls and Teens as an International Human Rights Issue
(2005) Social & Legal Studies Vol. 14(1), 17-38
22 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2013
Date Written: 2005
The case of 'child marriage’ has not been extensively studied in international women’s rights and children’s rights scholarship. This article attempts to contribute to a discussion about cultural diversity and human rights through the case of early marriage. I argue that a strategy based on a uniform marriageable age and a narrow rights-based analysis misses the complexity of both marriage and age. I maintain that the socio-economic conditions in which girls, adolescents and young women live and marry need to be examined and addressed in order to develop relevant and culturally appropriate international strategies. Further, I discuss the cultural specificity of childhood and adolescence in contrast to the international human rights perspective that considers all people under the age of 18 as children.
Keywords: adolescence, childhood, culture, international women’s rights, marriage
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