In many Indian communities, girls are seen as economic burdens and marriage transfers the burden to her husband. This compels many poverty stricken families to get their girls married at a very young age. if girls are married off below the age of 18 and boys below 21, the practice is called child marriage.
In the male dominated society, girls are usually kept confided and considered apt for the role of a daughter, wife, mother and sister. They are neither allowed to study or participate in any family decisions. More often than not they are also barred from taking decisions about their own lives.
All these factor as well as lack of awareness among people influence the practice of early marriage or child marriage.
- Child marriage happens irrespective of cultures and religions.
- Fuelling factors are gender inequality, lack of education, poverty, insecurity and lack of awareness.
- India witnesses the highest number of child marriages.
- In India, over 47% of girls get married before their 18th birthday.
- Rates are higher in states like Bihar and Rajasthan.
- Nowadays, fewer girls are getting married before 15, the rate of marriage has gone up for girls between 15-18 years of age.
Early marriage is a serious social taboo that NGO Sofia wants to get eradicated as early as possible. NGO Sofia strives to create awareness among people about the serious consequences of child marriage which include poor health, poverty, and violation of their right to education among others. They are committee to end child marriage so that girls can fulfil their potential and help in creating a developed nation.