Child marriage is an issue that haunts Asian countries. Due to the Corona pandemic, the practice of underage marriage has skyrocketed. UNICEF reports that millions of children around the world are being forced into marriage. The figure is an increase of 10% compared to the previous data.
One of the countries that is still rife in marrying minors is India. The government imposed a regional quarantine, forcing parents to force their children to marry. Here’s a heartbreaking portrait of child marriage in India.
1. During the regional quarantine, more than 10 million workers returned to their hometowns and many parents assumed that the welfare of the family would be guaranteed by marrying off their daughters.
2. Complaints about forcing children into marriage increased from June to July 2020. The organization Save The Children reports one child under fifteen is married every seven seconds.
3. Indian society suffers from extreme poverty, so that children have no support for school. When they don’t go to school because of the pandemic, the family will immediately marry them off.
4. Girls are forced to marry men who are much older. This case also occurred in Yemen, Somalia, and Afghanistan.
5. Girls who marry underage tend to experience domestic violence, harassment, and even rape.
6. Child marriage kills more than 60 girls in a day. They died of pregnancy and childbirth at a very young age.
7. The Indian government has raised the minimum age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 years. The government also announced amendments to the 2006 Prohibition of Child Marriage Act.
8. The law was made to stop child marriage. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said girls should marry at the right age to save them from malnutrition.
9. Even though the government has banned child marriage, the practice is still ongoing. Especially among the indigenous Rabari tribe in the Kutch region of the state of Gujarat.
10. The Indian government says child marriage is an obstacle to all the country’s development goals such as improving the quality of health, eradicating poverty, equalizing education, and so on.
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Actually child marriage is not only a problem in India. This kind of thing also happened in Indonesia. Even Indonesia is ranked eighth in the world because of cases of child marriage.