Unhappily Ever After: An Analysis of Child Marriages in Bangladesh and Niger

Bangladesh Development Research Working Paper Series, BDRWPS 31 (September 2016)

20 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2016

Date Written: September 23, 2016

Abstract

Both Bangladesh and Niger are among the world’s poorest countries, while both incidentally have some of the highest rates of child brides. While technically illegal, child marriage is culturally significant and has continued to be prevalent in Bangladesh and Niger. With 76 percent of girls married before they turn eighteen, Niger has the highest rate of child brides in the world. Poverty is a driving factor for many families in Niger to marry girls. In Bangladesh, where 52 percent of girls are married before they turn eighteen, sociocultural norms are a key motivating influence. This paper analyzes the economic motivation behind marrying girls, explains the cyclical role of education, and examines the health-related consequences. Finally, it will provide a brief overview of some solutions that can be utilized to combat this problem.

Keywords: child marriage, gender, development, Bangladesh, Niger

JEL Classification: J12, J16, I15

Suggested Citation

Morrow, Samantha, Unhappily Ever After: An Analysis of Child Marriages in Bangladesh and Niger (September 23, 2016). Bangladesh Development Research Working Paper Series, BDRWPS 31 (September 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2843053 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2843053

Samantha Morrow (Contact Author)

American University, Students ( email )

4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

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