The Silent Epidemic: Child Marriage in the Developing World
By Rina Weaver
Child marriage, a practice that has persisted for centuries, continues to cast a dark shadow over the lives of millions of girls in developing countries. While progress has been made in recent years, this deeply entrenched social issue still plagues our world, with devastating consequences for countless young lives.
Child marriage is a grim reality for too many girls in the developing world. Defined as the marriage of individuals under the age of 18, child marriage robs girls of their childhood, education, and fundamental human rights. While the practice affects both genders, the overwhelming majority of child brides are girls. Poverty, cultural norms, and gender inequality are often cited as drivers behind this disturbing trend.
One of the primary reasons behind child marriage is economic hardship. Families in impoverished regions may see marrying off their daughters at a young age as a means of reducing their financial burden.