From the Alan Guttmacher Institute.
Despite Legal Restrictions, Early Marriage Remains Common in India; Childbearing Begins Soon Thereafter
Greater Government Effort Is Needed to Keep Girls in School
Although the legal age of marriage in India is 18, nearly half of young women marry—that is, begin cohabiting with their husbands—before their 18th birthday. Over the last decade and a half, little progress has been made in reducing the proportion of adolescents who become brides, according to a new report from the New York–based Guttmacher Institute and the International Institute for Population Sciences in Mumbai. The report compares nationally representative surveys from 1993, 1999 and 2006, and finds that during that time, the proportion of young women who married as minors decreased slowly, from 50% to 45%. Similarly, the proportion of young women giving birth before age 18 declined somewhat over the same period, from 28% to 22%, which is not surprising, given that childbearing is closely tied to marriage.
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