Document Type

Fact Sheet

Publication Date



In Bangladesh, marriage marks the beginning of sanctioned sexual activity as well as increased social isolation. When girls are not in school, they miss the opportunity to interact with same-age peers and form social networks. They may be less likely to gain skills and knowledge and have less earning power. Married adolescents have poorer sexual and reproductive health knowledge and more unequal gender attitudes. Young girls who are married to much-older men are in a disadvantaged position to negotiate in their marital home. This can have implications for realizing sexual and reproductive choice and health rights. This Bangladeshi Association for Life Skills, Income, and Knowledge for Adolescents (BALIKA) fact sheet, “Highlight on Married Adolescents,” concludes: The most remarkable change is in the high proportion of girls who report continuing schooling. It is common for most girls to bear a child soon after marriage. A high proportion of adolescents practice contraception. Rates of contraception are consistent with a high degree of fertility control. Thus early childbearing does not preclude fertility control. Knowledge about family planning is high, but other types of reproductive health knowledge is low.






BALIKA (Bangladeshi Association for Life Skills, Income, and Knowledge for Adolescents)