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In addition to the psychological consequences that affect children for life, many of them contract venereal diseases or AIDS.
Marrying a daughter as a girl is another of the ways used by families to cope with economic precariousness. But not only the economic aspect is valued, the parents consider that the married daughter “is protected” against so many sexual abuse of girls.
According to Unicef, the 82 million girls who were between 10 and 17 years old in India in 2003 would be married before they turned 18 16. In India a dowry is needed to marry a woman, the younger the woman the less The dowry is large, which is why many girls are taken out of school to marry them off. Very young marriages are also explained by a deeply rooted tradition, especially in rural areas. In the month of May, with the celebration of Akshaya Tritya (auspicious for marriage), parents marry their children, they may even be 6 or 7 years old, after the ceremony each one returns home with their parents, when the bride has her first menstruation, she surrenders to the husband.17
It is a deeply ingrained custom among low-caste farm workers who cling to their roots as a form of social acceptance. In December 2006, the Parliament of India passed a law that invalidates marriages between children. The legal age of marriage is 18 years.
Infant bodies do not have the necessary development for gestation, thus many premature births occur, children are born with less weight, more newborns die; the risk of dying before reaching one year of age is double that of a baby born to a mother over 20 years old.
It is estimated that more than 500,000 women die each year from causes related to pregnancy, more than half of the deaths are concentrated in India, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Ethiopia and Sierra Leone. Girls are four times more likely to die18.
Child marriages are suffered more by girls, which contributes from another facet to perpetuate discrimination for them and their children. The UNICEF report on the State of the World’s Children 2007 emphasizes the importance of gender equality for the betterment of children. If women are not educated and in good health, their children suffer. Ending discrimination would be of great benefit to children.