Freedom Expression

Of Child Marriages & Teenage Pregnancies

Posted in India, Marriages, Women Issues by Tall Guy on March 27, 2010

There was a time in India when child marriages used to take place rampantly.  Children forced by their families to get married under the garb of the customs and tradition even as the couple was too young to understand the concept of marriage.

Child marriages have often resulted in serious health concerns for both the girl and her children as it is a widely accepted fact that adolescent mothers are more likely to experience complications such as obstetric fistula.

Today, we have moved past the issue of child marriage by introducing laws that term them unlawful and by raising the marriageable age of boy to 21 and girl 18.

Still there are places where this practice takes place mostly among poor uneducated families in rural areas.  As the awareness about the ill effects of child marriages spreads across, we can hope such marriages to become extinct in the future.

Though times have changed, the issue of teenage pregnancies still causes a lot of concerns.

Developed countries like US and UK are also dealing with the teenage pregnancies issues with US having the highest birth rate of teenage pregnancies among the developed world.  The numbers are surprising considering the fact that sex education taking place in schools.

There is the option of going for abortions but its considered risky.  Studies have proven that abortion may lead to an increased chance of breast cancer, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, depression, and the contraction of Viral Hepatitis, not to mention death due to excessive bleeding or other complications.

One may find similarities between the child marriage and teenage pregnancy as both leads to pregnancy at a young age.  Early marriages prevents a girl from getting the education and living the life she deserves and ends up managing the household.  In the latter case they end up compromising on their education and sometimes drop out to look after the child who may/may not be supported by the father of the child.  The only difference between the two is that one happens in the sanctity of marriage and other outside marriage.

Even as we are sounding the death knell for child marriages here in India.  The issue of teenage pregnancy is making its presence felt even though the numbers are small, as such cases largely goes unreported.

The only way to ensure to nip the issue in the bud is by providing sex education and the usages of birth control measures to stop it from snowballing.

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