Underage Female Marrige in Bangladesh
by Gdesrosiers on February 2, 2016 - 7:39pm
Teacher: Geneviève Aboud
300-301-LA, Section 332
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.
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