Samira Salam1* and Bipasha Aktar2
1Department of Basic Science, Primeasia University, Banani, Dhaka, Bangladesh; and 2Department of Statistics, Jahangirnagar University, Savar, Dhaka, Bangladesh.
*Correspondence: email@example.com (Samira Salam, Lecturer, Department of Basic Science, Primeasia University, Banani, Dhaka, Bangladesh).
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Despite the high prevalence of child marriage in Bangladesh and the potential adverse effects of child marriage on reproductive and maternal health outcomes, there is relatively little empirical evidence available on this issue, which has impeded efforts to stop child marriage and to initiate improved and effective adolescent health programs. The purpose of this study is to determine the causes of child marriage and its consequences on the reproductive and maternal health of child brides in Bangladesh. Data for the study came from a cross-sectional sample survey and the ultimate sampling units were selected by using a three-stage cluster sampling technique. The results of the study suggest that the dominant driving factors for child marriage are: poverty, lack of education, social and cultural norms, ensuring daughters’ financial security, protection of daughters from sexual harassment and unwelcome sexual advances. There are serious consequences of child marriage on adolescents’ health. It truncates a girl’s childhood, gives rise to severe physical and psychological risks on health, and takes her from internationally accepted human rights. The difference between mean years of marriage and first birth interval indicates that Bangladeshi adolescents hurry to initiate childbearing. They are at high risk of reproductive health. Most of them suffered from various maternal health problems such as gynecological problems before pregnancy, complications during pregnancy, at the time of delivery, and after delivery due to the absence of proper maturity. Child marriage enlarges boundary of vulnerability to adolescents that leads to poor fertility control and fertility-related outcomes, and poor maternal health care issues.
Keywords: Child marriage, Reproductive health, Contraceptive use, Domestic violence, and Bangladesh.
Citation: Salam S., and Aktar B. (2020). Child marriage in rural Bangladesh and its consequences on reproductive and maternal health: an empirical study, Eur. J. Med. Health Sci., 2(4), 74-85.
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