Child marriage, sexual abuse with minor girls alarmingly high in India: When will it stop?

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India has second-highest number of child marriages.
It seems in India, the plight of girls will not get over that easily as the latest UN reports have revealed some shocking facts. The reports have narrated the ordeal of girls in our country and has revealed that in case of child marriage, India stands at number two on the world stage. The reports have also brought to fore that 42% of girls in India are sexually abused before 19.

When will such evils be eradicated from the society and when will India be freed from such problem.

India has second-highest number of child marriages

As per the UN report. the highest rate of child marriage is in Bangladesh (where two out of every three girls marry before age 18), followed by India, Nepal and Afghanistan.

Almost half of all girls in South Asia marry before the age of 18. One in five girls are married before the age of 15. These are the highest rates in the world.

"These figures confirm that child marriage is rooted in gender norms and in expectations about the value and roles of girls," the report added.

In India, 43 percent of women aged 20-24 were first married by the age of 18 between 2005-2013. Girls with no education are 5.5 times more likely to marry or enter into union as those with at least 10 years of education.

On gender-biased sex selection, the report said the practice is more prevalent in the west and northwest part of the country. The child sex ratio, which is the number of girls per 1,000 boys, among children aged 0-4 in India was 924.

On immunisation coverage, it said some countries in South Asia, particularly Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal, have made significant improvements since 1990 but coverage is still far too low in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan.

77 per cent Indian girls endure sexual violence in their teens

In India, 41 per cent of girls aged 15 to 19 years had experienced physical violence since age 15 by their mother or step-mother while 18 per cent had been subjected to physical violence by their fathers and step-fathers.

India also had the third highest number of young homicide victims in 2012. Nearly 9,400 children and adolescents aged 0 to 19 years were killed in India in 2012.

42 per cent of Indian girls are sexually abused before 19

A Unicef report titled 'Hidden in Plain Sight' on violence on children and adolescents across the world has revealed that one in every 50 girls in India is forced to have her first intercourse or other forced sexual acts when she is less than 10 years old.

The report is an outcome of a study of demographic and health surveys conducted between 2005 and 2013.

As per a TOI report, "Some 77% of girls who admitted to have faced sexual violence between 15 and 19 yeas said it is their current husband or the partner who committed the atrocity. More shocking is the fact that the perpetrator in the case of 6% of these girls in this age group was a relative. At least 4% said a friend or an acquaintance targeted them. Only 3% of the girls said a stranger subjected them to forced sex, while 0.4% said it was the father or the stepfather."

Is Indian teen in danger in its own country?

Such evils if not eradicated will push the future of our country in danger and will hamper the growth and development of the nation as the child marriages not only effect the lives of the boy and the girl but also affect the maternal and infant health in a country. At present also a dismal picture of maternal and child health is there in India.

Thus, the policy-makers should take care of these problems also so that the country has an overall development and a better future.

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