ISLAMABAD: A survey conducted by Punjab Commission on Status of Women here Monday revealed that early marriage deprives girls of education opportunities and predisposes them to teen childbearing as well as domestic and spousal violence.
According to details 50 per cent of women in the age group20-24 years were married, of these 4 per cent were married before age 15 and 15 per cent before age 18.
Among the women who experienced physical and sexual abuse in the 20-24 age group, almost 24 per cent of women were married before age of 18 and 8 per cent were married before age 15, it said.
Survey says that child marriage leads to early childbearing resulting in higher number of childbirths per woman and increases the risk of mortality and morbidity for both infants and mothers.
In Punjab nearly 14 per cent of ever-married women in the 20-24 years age group have given birth to a child before age of 18.
Rural areas are observed to have higher rates of early childbearing, women belonging to the poorest households are more likely to have a child before 18 years compared to those in the upper quintiles, it added.
Survey also observed that the age of marriage in country has been rising steadily with more women getting married in their early twenties.
Survey stressed that empower girls with information, skills and support networks, provide economic support and incentives to girls and their families.
Enhance girls’ access to a high-quality education and encourage supportive laws and policies, it said.