NEW DELHI: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in a report reveals that nearly half of all girls in South Asia marry before they turn 18.
The report says that child marriage is pervasive in South Asia even though most countries in the region have a legal marrying minimum age of 18. Before the age of 18, 46 percent of South Asian girls are married while 18 percent are married before age 15.
The highest rate of child marriage is in Bangladesh where two-thirds of girls are married before age 18 followed by India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
The UNICEF report also reveals that more than a million newborn babies still die every year in the region often due to inadequate healthcare.
“South Asia continues to be one of the riskiest places in the world to become pregnant or give birth, with the second highest number of maternal deaths worldwide,” the regional director for UNICEF in South Asia Karin Hulshof said.