Prime News, National (Mumbai), March 6:- The proportion of girls getting married in India has nearly halved in a decade, the United Nations children’s agency UNICEF said on Tuesday, which has contributed significantly to a global decline in child marriage.
UNICEF said 25 million child marriages were prevented worldwide in the last decade, with the largest reduction seen in South Asia – where India was at the forefront.
“India constitutes more than 20 percent of the world’s adolescent population and accounts for the highest number of child marriages in South Asia given its size and population,” said Javier Aguilar, UNICEF’s chief of child protection.
“In the current trend, 27 percent of girls, or nearly 1.5 million girls, get married before they turn 18 in India. This is a sharp decline from 47 percent a decade ago,” he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Child marriage adds to health, education and abuse risks, and increases the chance of intergenerational poverty, said Anju Malhotra, UNICEF’s principal gender adviser, in a statement.
“Given the life-altering impact child marriage has on a young girl’s life, any reduction is welcome news, but we’ve got a long way to go,” Ms Malhotra said.
UNICEF estimates that 12 million girls a year are married globally, and says more is needed to end the practice by 2030 – the target set under the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).