When a girl gets married, she usually drops out of school and begins full-time work in her inlaws’ household. In the in-laws’ house, she is marginalized. She becomes vulnerable to all
forms of abuse, including dowry-related violence. In Bangladesh, it is still common for a
bride’s family to pay dowry, despite the practice being illegal. Dowry demands can also
continue after the wedding. For an adolescent bride, even if her in-laws are supportive, there
are greater health risks in terms of pregnancy and child birth. The majority of adolescent
brides and their families are uninformed or insufficiently informed about reproductive health
and contraception. The maternal mortality rate for adolescents is double the national rate.
When adolescent girls are pulled out of school, either for marriage or work, they often lose
their mobility, their friends and social status. The lack of mobility among adolescent girls also
curtails their economic and non-formal educational opportunities. Moreover, they lack
information about health issues. According to a study, only about three in five adolescents
have even heard of HIV. It is also reported that more than 50 percent of adolescent girls are
undernourished and suffer from anaemia. Adolescent fertility is also high in Bangladesh. The
contribution of the adolescent fertility rate to the total fertility rate increased from 20.3% in
1993 to 24.4% in 2007. Moreover, neonatal mortality is another concern for younger mothers.
While the situation for adolescent boys is somewhat better, many are vulnerable and lack the
power to make decisions about their own lives. Many boys who are unable to go to school, or
are unemployed, remain unaware of social or health issues. They are at considerable risk of
being drawn into criminal activities. They are also more likely to get exposed to drugs and alcohol.
Birds of the sky (2 Golds)
Wednesday, 04 Dec 2019, 09:42 PM