Is there ever a good reason for child marriage? STRIVE partner ICRW enters debate

18 May 2012
Alexandra Hyde

The online magazine Slate has published a joint letter from STRIVE partner ICRW together with Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage (GNB). The letter to the Editor was written in response to an article describing a mass betrothal ceremony of underage boys and girls in the Indian state of Gujarat.

The letter resists the idea that child marriage is a better alternative to prostitution as part of the limited livelihood opportunities available to women in particular communities. The letter cites a range of research that demonstrates the increased likelihood that child brides will suffer domestic abuse, are still vulnerabile to sexually transmitted diseases, and that child brides face an additional risk of injury and death during pregnancy and childbirth.

By arguing against the rationalisation of child marriage as a favourable comparison with prostitution, ICRW and GNB advocate for further work to change cultural attitudes and social norms with respect to young women and girls in particular communities in India.

Read the full letter here.