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Marriage before 16 or 18 years: The Effect of Marital Age on Women’s Educational Attainment in Bangladesh
Authors: Mohammad Mainul Islam, Kamrul Islam, Mohammad Sazzad Hasan, and Aminul Haque
Source: Journal of Population and Social Studies, 24(1): 117–132; DOI: 10.14456/jpss.2016.9
Topic(s): Child marriage
Country: Asia
Published: JAN 2016
Abstract: In spite of the high prevalence of child marriage in Bangladesh, studies of its effect on the educational attainment of women are limited. We sought to answer the following questions: To what extent does the effect of child marriage on educational attainment vary for women married below 16 and below 18 years of age? Secondly, how does age at first marriage affect a woman’s length of participation in school? Bivariate and multivariate analyses were conducted by using the 2011 Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey, which included 17,749 respondents who were ever-married women aged 15-49. Child marriage before age 16 (as compared with 18) leads to a higher rate of incomplete secondary education, and a lower rate of educational attainment for women. A one-year decrease in age at first marriage leads to six months loss of education for women. For this reason, we recommend that the government refrain from fixing the legal age of marriage at age 16 for women. Keywords: child marriage; marital age; educational attainment, Bangladesh