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Early marriage in Ethiopia : causes and health consequences

Document type: article
Download file(s): 120687 (88 KB)
Abstract: Early marriage is a violation of the fundamental rights of the child. In 2006, Pathfinder International/Ethiopia conducted a study on the incidence, reasons for, and the personal and social consequences of early marriage in both urban and rural areas of the Amhara region. Understanding the forces at work at the community and family levels that drive parents to marry their girl-children off is essential in the development of effective programmes to tackle this traditional practice. A total of 2,072 women and girls aged 12-49 participated in the quantitative research. The strongest reason for early marriage is the desire or need to maintain the family’s good name and social standing. In most cases, the child bride is taken to her in-laws immediately after the wedding; in other cases the parents agree that the girl stays with her parents until she is mature enough to live with her husband. Married adolescent girls’ inability to negotiate safer sex and other social pressures represent a critical channel of vulnerability to HIV infection. Other consequences include: (1) marital instability; (2) termination of education; (3) inability to plan or manage families; and (4) poor sexual health of women and girls.
Authors: Alemu, B.
Country: Ethiopia
Category: General
End Page: 6
Serial number: 1
ISSN: 1871-7551
Journal: Exchange on HIV/AIDS, sexuality and gender
Keywords: HIV and AIDS , culture , gender , disease prevention and control
Language: eng
Organization: KIT - Royal Tropical Institute
Year: 2008
Region: Africa South of Sahara , East Africa
Right: © 2008 KIT
Subject: Culture, Society and Religion
Start Page: 4
Title: Early marriage in Ethiopia : causes and health consequences