Behind the curtain: when an adolescent girl becomes a married woman

Ubaidur Rob, Population Council
Mohammad N. Talukder, Population Council

This paper examines the current status of married female adolescents in Bangladesh. Data from three Demographic and Health Surveys were utilized to examine reproductive health behavior as well as other social issues for married female adolescents in Bangladesh. In addition, to understand how married adolescent girls adjusted with the new surroundings, information was collected through in-depth interviews with married adolescent girls. Findings suggest that approximately 80 percent of female adolescents get married before they reach age 18 and two third of them experienced pregnancy by age 16. Female married adolescents are not involved in marriage related discussions and only being informed about the decisions. Marriage universally plays a major role in discontinuing education, restricted mobility outside and personal freedom. Married female adolescents are entangled with a wide range of social problems, e.g., mobility, education, personal freedom and participation in conjugal and household decision-making.

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Presented in Poster Session 1