marriage or informal union entered into by an individual before reaching the age of 18
Child marriage is a formal marriage or an informal union entered into by an individual before reaching a certain age, specified by several global organizations such as UNICEF as minors under the age of 18.
- As already noted, the church in Africa is facing a grim reality even when it comes to sex in marriage. According to UNICEF, teenage brides in some African countries are becoming infected with the AIDS virus at higher rates than sexually active unmarried girls of similar ages. That’s because young brides are acquiring HIV from their husbands, who tend to be many years older and were infected before marriage. Clearly, abstinence and fidelity prevention strategies will not reliably protect these women.
- Alsan, Marcella (April 2006). "The Church & AIDS in Africa: Condoms & the Culture of Life". Commonweal: A Review of Religion, Politics, and Culture. 133 (8). Archived from the original on 2006-08-21. Retrieved 2006-11-28.
- The existence of these evils among the Muslims is distressing enough. But far more distressing is the fact that there is no organized movement of social reform among the Musalmans of India on a scale sufficient to bring about their eradication. The Hindus have their social evils. But there is relieving feature about them-namely, that some of them are conscious of their existence and a few of them are actively agitating for their removal. Indeed, they oppose any change in their existing practices. It is noteworthy that the Muslims opposed the Child-Marriage Bill brought in the Central Assembly in 1930, whereby the age for marriage of a girl was raised to 14 and of a boy to 18 on the ground that it was opposed to the Muslim cannon law. Not only did they oppose the bill at every stage but that when it became law they started a campaign of Civil Disobedience against that Act.
- B.R. Ambedkar, Pakistan or The Partition of India (1946)
- “The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death)”
- (Bukhari 7.62.88).
- The Prophet engaged me when I was a girl of six (years). We went to Medina and stayed at the home of Bani-al-Harith bin Khazraj. Then I got ill and my hair fell down. Later on my hair grew (again) and my mother, Um Ruman, came to me while I was playing in a swing with some of my girl friends. She called me, and I went to her, not knowing what she wanted to do to me. She caught me by the hand and made me stand at the door of the house. I was breathless then, and when my breathing became all right, she took some water and rubbed my face and head with it. Then she took me into the house. There in the house I saw some Ansari women who said, “Best wishes and Allah’s Blessing and a good luck.” Then she entrusted me to them and they prepared me (for the marriage). Unexpectedly Allah’s Apostle came to me in the forenoon and my mother handed me over to him, and at that time I was a girl of nine years of age.
- (Bukhari 5.58.234).
- Child marriage was an accepted childrearing practice in sixteenth-century northern England.
- Dolan, L. (2017). Nurture and neglect: Childhood in sixteenth-century Northern England.
- Child marriage has rapidly gained international attention over the last decade with donors increasingly recognising the importance of child marriage and its links to a range of development priorities from economic development and poverty alleviation to health, human rights, and social justice. The body of evidence regarding child marriage prevention and response is now deep and wide, and it clearly shows that effective strategies require not only dedicated efforts to address child marriage, but also crosssectoral cooperation and integration. ... Child marriage disproportionately affects girls more than boys. According to UNICEF, 720 million women alive today were married as children, as compared to 156 million men. Some fifteen million girls are married each year worldwide, and across the developing world, one in three girls is married before the age of 18, and one in nine girls before age 15.
- Girls Not Brides and International Center for Research on Women, "Taking action to address child marriage: the role of different sectors: Economic Growth and Workforce Development brief", 2015; p. 2-3; as qtd. in Girls Not Brides, "Why does child marriage happen?".
- Hindu child brides in India are flogged, and sometimes burned alive, if the pathetic dowry they bring is judged to be too small.
- The The Clinton Foundation notes that child marriage "limits the full potential of girls" and "undermines health, education, economic opportunity, and security." Early wedlock is most common among the world's poorest children.
One study found that teen marriage in the U.S. increased by nearly 50 percent in the 1990s thanks to "the spread of abstinence-only-until-marriage sex education at American schools, a shift toward cultural conservatism among some teens and a growing fear among youngsters of contracting AIDS through promiscuity," as the Chicago Tribune wrote in 2004.
- Olga Khazan, “A Strange Map of the World's Child-Marriage Laws”, (Mar 9, 2015).
- As the legacy of this scenario, Indian girls are still being sold to West Asian nationals as wives, concubines and slave girls. For example, all the leading Indian newspapers... flashed the news of a sixty year old “toothless” Arab national Yahiya H.M. Al Sagish “marrying” a 10-11 year old Ameena of Hyderabad after paying her father Rs. 6000, and attempting to take her out of the country. Al Sagish has been taken into police custody and the case is in the law-court now. Mr. I.U. Khan has “pointed out that no offence could be made out against his client as he had acted in accordance with the Shariat laws. He said that since this case related to the Muslim personal law which permitted marriage with girls who had attained Puberty (described as over 9 years of age), Al Sagish could not be tried under the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Besides Ameena’s parents had not complained.” But this is not an isolated case. I was in Hyderabad for about four years, 1979-1983. There I learnt that such “marriages” are common. There are regular agents and touts who arrange them. Poor parents of girls are handsomely paid by foreign Muslims for such arrangements. Every time that I happened to go to the Hyderabad Airlines office or the Airport (which was about at least once a month), I found bunches of old bridegrooms in Arab attire accompanied by young girls, often little girl brides. “A rough estimate indicated that as many as 8000 such marriages were solemnised during the past one decade in Hyderabad alone.” In short, the sex slave-trade is still flourishing not only in Hyderabad but in many other cities of India after the medieval tradition.
- Lal, K. S. (1992). The legacy of Muslim rule in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 7, citing The Indian Express, The Hindustan Times and The Times of India of 14 August 1991
- Afghanistan is becoming the world’s largest humanitarian crisis... 18.8 million Afghans are unable to feed themselves every day.... starvation is not the only issue faced by children. As UNICEF warns “Afghanistan was already one of the toughest places on earth to be a child. Right now, the situation is desperate.” The situation deteriorates quickly as the country is on a brink of famine.
Recent weeks have seen yet another trend: families selling their children, and mostly girls, so that families could buy food. In one of reported cases, a six-year-old girl and 18-month-old toddler were sold for $3,350 and $2,800 respectively. In another reporting, a 9-year-old girl was sold for about $2,200 in the form of sheep, land and cash. There are many more such stories.... Some of these girls will become child brides... Child marriage... a major violation of their human rights and can sometimes amount to a form of modern day slavery. While poverty may drive child marriage, child marriage traps girls in a cycle of poverty. Child marriage further puts girls at risk of physical and sexual abuse...Some of the girls will be turned into child laborers... The people of Afghanistan cannot be left to starve. Afghan girls cannot be sacrificed.
- Afghan Girls Being Exchanged For Food As Famine Nears, Ewelina U. Ochab, Forbes November 25, 2021
- Islamic apologists in the West argue furiously that child marriage has nothing to do with Islam, and that the idea that Muhammad married a child is the invention of greasy Islamophobes. In reality, few things are more abundantly attested in Islamic law than the permissibility of child marriage.
- One does not marry a three-year-old wife, as a donkey does.
- In 2010, 158 countries reported that 18 years was the minimum legal age for marriage for women without parental consent or approval by a pertinent authority. However, in 146 countries, state or customary law allows girls younger than 18 to marry with the consent of parents or other authorities; in 52 countries, girls under age 15 can marry with parental consent. In contrast, 18 is the legal age for marriage without consent among males in 180 countries. Additionally, in 105 countries, boys can marry with the consent of a parent or a pertinent authority, and in 23 countries, boys under age 15 can marry with parental consent.