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Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019

‘1 in every 5 girls in UP is a child bride’

Uttar Pradesh is home to 8.5 crore children and one in every five girls here is a child bride, according to government of India’s National Family Health Survey.

lucknow Updated: Feb 13, 2019 13:46 IST
Rajeev Mullick
Rajeev Mullick
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Five districts of UP are among the top 50 in terms of child marriage prevalence in the country.
Five districts of UP are among the top 50 in terms of child marriage prevalence in the country. (Representative image)
         

Uttar Pradesh is home to 8.5 crore children and one in every five girls here is a child bride, according to government of India’s National Family Health Survey.

Five districts of UP are among the top 50 in terms of child marriage prevalence in the country. As per the NFHS 4 data, the worst affected districts are Shrawasti (68.5%), Gonda (48.6%), Lalitpur (49.3%) Maharajganj (48.2%) and Siddharthnagar (45.2%).

“For many, Valentine’s Day is associated with romance, flowers and marriage proposals. Yet for millions of girls around the world, marriage is not a choice but an unwelcome end to their childhood and future,” said Henrietta Fore, Unicef executive director.

FACTS & FIGURES
  • Nearly 650 MN girls and women alive today in the world were married before their 18th birthday.
  • 12 MN girls across the globe married in childhood every year.

“The solution is simple: Ban child marriage, invest in education, and empower young people, families and communities to bring about positive change. Only then will we end this devastating practice by 2030 and protect the 150 million girls at risk,” said Fore.

The states with the highest prevalence of child marriage are Bihar, West Bengal and Rajasthan with close to 40% prevalence.

Unicef and Unfpa have joined forces through a Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage, wherein existing strategies in areas such as health, education, child protection, nutrition and water and sanitation have been brought together to address child marriage in a holistic manner.

The approach is to address child marriage through the entire lifecycle of a child, especially by addressing persisting negative social norms, which are key drivers for the high prevalence of child marriage in India.

To eliminate child marriage by 2030, as set out in the agenda for sustainable development, global progress would need to be 12 times faster than the rate observed over the past decade.

According to Unicef, globally, 1 in 5 women were married before their 18th birthday. When a girl is forced to marry as a child, she faces immediate and lifelong consequences. Her odds of finishing school decrease while her odds of experiencing domestic violence increase.

First Published: Feb 13, 2019 13:46 IST