Early marriage deprives girls of the opportunity for personal development and their rights to full reproductive health and well-being, education, and participation in civil life. Bangladesh stands out in international comparisons as having an extraordinarily early age at marriage for girls and a considerable average age difference in marriage between girls and their husbands. This Bangladeshi Association for Life Skills, Income, and Knowledge for Adolescents (BALIKA) fact sheet, “Highlight on Marriage,” concludes: In Bangladesh, marriage remains early by most standards and the majority of girls still get married before reaching the legal age of 18 years. By age 19, more than two-thirds of girls are married. Dowry amounts increase with age at marriage. Both young age at marriage and physical beauty are valued attributes and require a smaller dowry. The portion of marriages that are “love” or “own choice” is highest among girls with the most education. These marriages are less likely to involve a dowry. Even though marriage under age 18 is illegal in Bangladesh, there is general social acceptance of marrying girls at an early age.
"BALIKA fact sheet: Highlight on marriage." New York: Population Council, 2014.
BALIKA (Bangladeshi Association for Life Skills, Income, and Knowledge for Adolescents)