15 September 2011

Child marriage in the middle east and north Africa – May 200

Early marriage compromises girls’ development and often results in early pregnancy and social isolation. Child marriage also reinforces the vicious cycle of early marriage, low education, high fertility, and poverty. Most countries in the Middle East and North Africa region have laws on the minimum legal age for marriage, but some families take advantage of religious laws that condone an earlier age and arrange religious ceremonies, postponing the official registration until the bride reaches the legal age. Farzaneh Roudi-Fahimi, program director, Middle East and North Africa Program at PRB, wrote this article