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Association says child marriage cause of illiteracy, poverty among women

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 THE Association for the Advancement of Family Planning in Nigeria (AAFP), says child marriage is responsible for illiteracy, poverty and ill-health among women and girls.

The Technical Management Committee Chairman of AAFP, Dr Ejike Oji, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Monday in Abuja.

Oji said that child marriage was capable of exposing girls to domestic violence and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

“Child marriage can effectively end a girls childhood, minimises her economic opportunities, increases domestic violence, and exposes her to pregnancy.

“Girls under 15 are five times more likely to die during childbirth than women in their 20s.

“Girls under 15 face higher risk of pregnancy-related injuries, such as obstetric fistula,” he said.

Oji, who expressed concern on safety of the child bride, said they were often unable to negotiate safer sexual practices, which put them at risk of HIV and other STDs.

The Medical Practitioner added: “The negative consequences of child marriage are beyond the girls themselves; children of child brides are 60 per cent more likely to die in the first year.

“Families of child brides are more likely to be poor and unhealthy.”

According to Orji, the number of married girls and girls at-risk of child marriage keeps going higher, and that according to the UN, 37,000 girls under the age of 18 are being married of daily.

“One in three girls in the developing world is married before 18; one in nine is married before 15.

“If the present trends continue, more than 140 million girls will be married before the age of 18 in the next decade.

“Globally, almost 400 million women, between 20-49 years were married before the age of 18,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that child marriage is generally understood to mean marriages that take place before age 18, but for many girls, marriage occurs much earlier.

In some countries, girls as young as seven or eight are forced by their families to marry much older men. (NAN)

- Aug. 30, 2021 @ 15:17 GMT |

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