BANGLADESH: Girls Become Brides Too Soon

BANGLADESH (South Central Asia)

Population: 161,083,804

About 40% of the population is under the age of 15

Male/Female Ratio:   0.95 male(s)/female

Fertility Rate:  2.55 children born/woman

Life Expectancy:  70.06 years

Infant mortality:  48.99 deaths/1,000 live births

Major Religions:  Islam, Hinduism

– In Asia, Bangladesh has the biggest percentage of the population who are child brides.   Average age for marriage of girls is 16.4 years.   An estimated third of all teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19 are mothers or pregnant.

– Though the legal age for marriage is 18 for girls, 66% of Bangladeshi girls are married before the age of 18 and approximately a third of women aged 20 to 24 were married by the age of 15.  Authorities rarely intervene to stop child marriages and parents continue to marry off their daughters secretly.

– Bangladesh is going to introduce a voluntary one-child policy by 2015 to control rising population.  According to the draft policy, one-child families will have preference in state schools and will be eligible for financial grants.

–    A “reproductive revolution” is occurring.  The contraceptive prevalence rate increased from 3 percent in 1971 to 55.8 in 2006, with 54% of currently married women using contraceptives.

– Since 1975, fertility rate has declined from 6.3 births per woman to its current rate of 2.55.   Oral pill is a widely used method of contraception in Bangladesh.

– It is a source country for women and children being trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation, involuntary domestic servitude and debt bondage.  The estimated number of women and girls trafficked annually out of the country is 10,000 – 20,000.

– Bangladesh has the highest population density in the world, with 800 people per square kilometer.  Nearly half of its 130 million population live below the poverty line.

– About 80 per cent of the drug addicts are adolescents and young men below 30 years of age.


%d bloggers like this: