Underage Female Marrige in Bangladesh

by Gdesrosiers on February 2, 2016 - 7:39pm

Gabrielle Desrosiers
Teacher: Geneviève Aboud
300-301-LA, Section 332
Assignment #1
2016 02 02

Assignment #1: Building an Outline

a. Topic & type of paper/ justification of social issue

The topic of this paper is the social issue of underage female marriage in Bangladesh. This paper will be both comparative and analytical. Various aspects of this issue such as its causes on a societal level, its consequences on the individual and the community, as well as the multifarious ways to increase the median age of marriage for females will be explored. When it comes to solutions, the current situation in Bangladesh will be compared to countries that have effectively decreased their rates of underage female marriage over the past few years.

The widespread practice of underage female marriage in Bangladesh is a social issue because it shows a gap between the social idea (girls should only be able to get married when they are mature enough to give consent) and the social reality (girls are forced or pressured to marry men much older than themselves before they reach adulthood).

As a result of child marriage, girls suffer from physical, psychological, and emotional consequences. Indeed, girls who marry before they are 18 years old are pressured into motherhood, which can cause severe health risks (i.e. death in childbirth, premature birth). Furthermore, the power dynamic in a marriage where the bride is much younger leaves girls vulnerable to the physical, sexual, and psychological abuse of their husbands. They lack the knowledge and power to abstain from intercourse or negotiate safe sex practices, leaving them more at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, such a union robs girls of their independence and freedom of choice as it stops them from pursuing their education, making them more likely to remain poor throughout their life (Bangladesh-Child Marriage). This issue currently affects 66% of girls in Bangladesh (The Children) but can be minimized by collective efforts towards empowering girls, mobilising families and communities, providing social services, and implementing laws (How Can We End Child Marriage?).

b. 2-3 Major areas of interest

- What does the marriage of young girls (and consequently their terminated education) mean for the level of poverty Bangladesh? (Economy)
- Why are the laws that are currently in place to prevent child marriage not enforced? (Political Science)
-What are the cultural factors that push families into thinking it is beneficial for their daughters to marry them off when they are young? (Sociology)

c. Who/What groups are involved in this issue?

Underage female marriage can be looked at from an individual, community, and societal level, as one can discern the consequences it has on an individual’s wellbeing, children’s and women’s place in the community, as well as poverty in the country. The groups involved in this issue include parents, community leaders, boys and men who consider marriage, teachers, young girls, law enforcement officials, governments, and human rights bodies.

Works Cited

Bangladesh - Child Marriage Around The World. Girls Not Brides. (n.d.).
Retrieved February 02, 2016, from http://www.girlsnotbrides.org/child-
How can we end child marriage? - Girls Not Brides. (n.d.). Retrieved February 02,
2016, from http://www.girlsnotbrides.org/how-can-we-end-child-
The children. (n.d.). Retrieved February 02, 2016, from


I find your topic really interesting since it is not something that we hear of often in Canada. Therefore, knowing about this social issue's significant existence in Bangladesh is very pertinent. Also, your outline is overall very well-structured and you seem to have done a lot of research. Furthermore, I find that the social science disciplines that you are choosing to cover (economics, political science and sociology) are very adequate to your subject. However, I am not sure to understand your first question. Maybe, you mean "How does young female marriage affect Bangladesh's economy?". Overall, I think that this topic as well as the areas that you are willing to cover are very-well thought and interesting. This is a well-done outline! Great start.

Your outline is very good, its very detailed and informative. I think it is good that you are going to compare the current situation in Bangladesh to other countries who used to have a significant amount of underage female marriages. You could look at what policies were enforced that helped decrease the rates of underage marriage. Your social science disciplines and questions are well chosen. They will give a broad and in depth understanding of this issue in Bangladesh.

and by damn i mean, you have a good idea for your research paper! it should be a subject that is easy to research because of all the information that is available and it is an issue that is (unfortunately) still very relevant today, as you point out that it is still very common in countries like Bangladesh. you seem to already have a very clear structure for your paper and i get the feeling that it is a subject that interests you, i think it will make for a very good essay! i like also that you look at the correlation between the lack of education of the woman caused by forced marriage and the economic development of the country, very interesting approach!

two thumbs up!

I loved your outline! I think that issues such as child marriage have to be addressed. Up until recently, we barely heard of these problems because of our location. I mean, it doesn’t really happen here, in Canada. The other day, I saw a video on YouTube where people set up a social experiment in NYC to see how bystanders would react if they saw an elderly man marrying a very young girl. It was interesting to see how these bystanders actually did react and say something!

It’s not because you live across the globe, in Asia or Africa, that you are entitled, as an old man, to marry children! I believe that people still don’t quite understand that. Cultural relativism (or any similar philosophy) fails when it comes to protecting groups who are already being discriminated against. Most importantly, because they are children, the victims can’t really speak for themselves as much as if they were adults. Therefore, we have to work together, as a global community, to stop child marriages in addition to female genital mutilation, child labour, and many other issues where individuals’ basic human rights aren’t respected.

We are lucky to live in North America (same thing goes for part of Europe), and I think that acknowledging this should give us the will to try and help the (mostly) women and children from other countries to live in safer and better conditions.

Congrats. Looking forward to reading your whole text.

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