FILE – The National Council for population launched a popular campaign to enforce legislation combating child marriage
CAIRO – 23 December 2017: The Ministry of Health and Population confirmed on Saturday that 40 percent of child marriages under 18 lead to stunted growth of children.
“Complications of pregnancy and obstetrics are the main cause of the death of girls under 18, Abdel Hamid Fawzy, advisor to the minister of health, stated, indicating that child marriage is a very serious issue facing society.
Fawzy underlined that the death rate doubled in girls under 18 due to pregnancy, and the number increases five times if the girl was under 15 years old.
The National Council for Population recently launched a popular campaign to build and enforce legislation combating child marriage.
“As many as 250,000 children are annually born as a result of child marriages,” Vivian Fouad, a representative of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood, told Egypt Today on Tuesday.
“Given the fact that child marriage cannot go through legal documentation and validation, the young wife is therefore denied her civil and legal rights, like filing for divorce and the right to inherit…Social traditions and rituals are not to be easily challenged, particularly in rural societies, but major changes always take time,” she said.
Fouad further illustrated that child marriages usually put an end to girls’ schooling, offering them very minimal career opportunities, so that they would not be able fend for themselves if the marriage ends.
Also, Tarik Tawfik, rapporteur of the National Council for Childhood and Motherhood at the Ministry of Health, said that girls older than age 18 are more capable to make it though pregnancy and more likely to survive childbirth and related complications. He added that those younger are often at risk of having miscarriages or their babies dying in childbirth.
Tawfik also stated that child marriages account for 20 percent of the annual birth rate and that those who are married off under 18 years of age are four times more likely to have premature babies than those who are impregnated over the age of 18.