A report on Child marriage

In 1533, 17-year-old Princess Emilia of Saxony was wed to George the Pious, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach, then aged 48 years. Early marriages have been common in historical times, including in Europe.
Presentation of Marie Antoinette to Dauphin Louis Auguste at Versailles, before their marriage - she at age 15, he at 16 - on 16 May 1770.
A traditional, formal presentation of the bride price at a Thai engagement ceremony
Depiction of bride kidnapping
English stage actress Ellen Terry was married at age 16 to George Frederic Watts who was 46 years old, a marriage her parents thought would be advantageous; later she said she was uncomfortable being a child bride. Terry died at the age of 81, in 1928.
Drawings by young Syrian refugee girls in a community centre in southern Lebanon promote the prevention of child marriage.
Child marriage in 1697 of Marie Adélaïde of Savoy, age 12 to Louis, heir apparent of France age 15. The marriage created a political alliance.
Poster against child and forced marriage
In 1900, Rana Prathap Kumari, aged 12, married Krishnaraja Wadiyar IV, aged 16. Two years later, he was recognized as the Maharaja of Mysore under British India.
Birth rates per 1,000 women aged 15–19 years, worldwide.

Marriage or similar union, formal or informal, between a child under a certain age – typically age 18 – and an adult or another child.

- Child marriage
In 1533, 17-year-old Princess Emilia of Saxony was wed to George the Pious, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach, then aged 48 years. Early marriages have been common in historical times, including in Europe.

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Marriage

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Culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouses.

Culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouses.

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Swedish royal wedding clothes from 1766 at Livrustkammaren in Stockholm
Indonesian wedding
Nepali wedding
Islamic wedding
Ancient Sumerian depiction of the marriage of Inanna and Dumuzid
In an 1828 "Wife Wanted" advertisement, an Englishman claiming a "great taste for building" pledges to apply a prospective wife's dowry-like £1000+ to build property that will be "settled on her for life".
Family chart showing relatives who, in Islamic Sharia law, would be considered mahrim (or maharem): unmarriageable kin with whom sexual intercourse would be considered incestuous.
An arranged marriage between Louis XIV of France and Maria Theresa of Spain.
Criticism about the Azeri society tradition from domestic violence to the social and political participation of women in the community
Traditional, formal presentation of the bridewealth (also known as "sin sot") at an engagement ceremony in Thailand
Couple married in a Shinto ceremony in Takayama, Gifu prefecture.
A newly married Assyrian couple.
Various advocates of same-sex marriage, such as this protester at a demonstration in New York City against California Proposition 8, consider civil unions an inferior alternative to legal recognition of same-sex marriage.
"Esposas de Matrimonio" ("Wedding Cuffs"), a wedding ring sculpture expressing the criticism of marriages' effects on individual liberty. Esposas is a play on Spanish, in which the singular form of the word esposa refers to a spouse, and the plural refers to handcuffs.
Countries where married women are required by law to obey their husbands as of 2015.
Christ and the woman taken in adultery by Jan Brueghel the Elder, Pinakothek
Magdalene laundries were institutions that existed from the 18th to the late 20th centuries, throughout Europe and North America, where "fallen women", including unmarried mothers, were detained. Photo: Magdalene laundry in Ireland, ca. early 20th century.
Anti-dowry poster in Bangalore, India.
The Outcast, by Richard Redgrave, 1851. A patriarch casts his daughter and her illegitimate baby out of the family home.
Percentage of births to unmarried women, selected countries, 1980 and 2007.
A man and woman exchange rings
Crowning during Holy Matrimony in the Syro-Malabar Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic Church and a part of the Saint Thomas Christian community in India
Christian wedding in Kyoto, Japan
Russian orthodox wedding ceremony
A couple following their marriage in the Manti Utah Temple
Newlywed couples visit Timur's statues to receive wedding blessings in Uzbekistan.
A Muslim bride of Pakistan origin signing the nikkah nama or marriage certificate.
A Muslim couple being wed alongside the Tungabhadra River at Hampi, India.
A Jewish wedding, painting by Jozef Israëls, 1903
A Ketubah in Hebrew, a Jewish marriage-contract outlining the duties of each partner.
Hindu marriage ceremony from a Rajput wedding.
A Nepali Hindu couple in marriage ceremony.
Seuso and his wife
Woodcut. How Reymont and Melusina were betrothed / And by the bishop were blessed in their bed on their wedlock. From the Melusine, 15th century.
A marriage in 1960 in Italy. Photo by Paolo Monti.
Newlyweds after a civil ceremony in the tower of Stockholm City Hall in 2016
U.S States, by the date of repeal of anti-miscegenation laws:
No laws passed
Repealed before 1887
Repealed between 1948 and 1967
Overturned on 12 June 1967

In some areas of the world, arranged marriage, child marriage, polygamy, and forced marriage are practiced.

Criticism about the Azeri forced marriage tradition from early 20th-century satirical periodical Molla Nasraddin. Forced marriage is the theme for the cartoon with the caption – Free love. The image should be read from right to left. The first picture in the right: Should you not want to go voluntarily, I will take you by force. In the next picture: The akhund – cleric says: "Lady, since you don't say anything, it seems that you agree. By the order of God I marry you to this gentleman".

Forced marriage

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Marriage in which one or more of the parties is married without their consent or against their will.

Marriage in which one or more of the parties is married without their consent or against their will.

Criticism about the Azeri forced marriage tradition from early 20th-century satirical periodical Molla Nasraddin. Forced marriage is the theme for the cartoon with the caption – Free love. The image should be read from right to left. The first picture in the right: Should you not want to go voluntarily, I will take you by force. In the next picture: The akhund – cleric says: "Lady, since you don't say anything, it seems that you agree. By the order of God I marry you to this gentleman".
Unequal marriage, a 19th-century painting by Russian artist Pukirev. It depicts an arranged marriage where a young girl is forced to marry against her will.
Forced Marriage Unit campaign
Prime Minister David Cameron accompanied by Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt and Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone visited the Forced Marriage Unit, 8 June 2012 to meet with campaigners Aneeta Prem, Jasvinder Sanghera and Diana Nammi to discuss the new legislation and the range of measures that will be introduced to increase support and protection for victims.
Forced Marriage Unit, UK

In 2013, the first United Nations Human Rights Council resolution against child, early, and forced marriages was adopted; the resolution recognizes child, early, and forced marriage as involving violations of human rights which "prevents individuals from living their lives free from all forms of violence and that has adverse consequences on the enjoyment of human rights, such as the right to education, [and] the right to the highest attainable standard of health including sexual and reproductive health", and also states that "the elimination of child, early and forced marriage should be considered in the discussion of the post-2015 development agenda."

Marriageable age

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General age, as a legal age or as the minimum age subject to parental, religious or other forms of social approval, at which a person is legitimately allowed for marriage.

General age, as a legal age or as the minimum age subject to parental, religious or other forms of social approval, at which a person is legitimately allowed for marriage.

Nevertheless, most jurisdictions allow marriage at a younger age with parental or judicial approval, and some also allow adolescents to marry if the female is pregnant.

"Marriage à-la-mode" by William Hogarth: a satire on arranged marriages and prediction of ensuing disaster

Arranged marriage

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Type of marital union where the bride and groom are primarily selected by individuals other than the couple themselves, particularly by family members such as the parents.

Type of marital union where the bride and groom are primarily selected by individuals other than the couple themselves, particularly by family members such as the parents.

"Marriage à-la-mode" by William Hogarth: a satire on arranged marriages and prediction of ensuing disaster
1770, Empress Maria Theresa sends 14-year-old Maria Antonia to France to marry Louis-Auguste
The arranged marriage in 1697, of Marie Adélaïde of Savoy, age 12 to Louis, Duke of Burgundy, heir apparent to the throne of France, as a result of the Treaty of Turin (1696). The marriage created an alliance between Louis XIV of France and the Duke of Savoy.

The specific sub-category of forced child marriage is especially condemned.

A purple ribbon is used to promote awareness of domestic violence

Domestic violence

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Violence or other abuse that occurs in a domestic setting, such as in a marriage or cohabitation.

Violence or other abuse that occurs in a domestic setting, such as in a marriage or cohabitation.

A purple ribbon is used to promote awareness of domestic violence
Man beating his wife with a stick. Circa 1360.
An illustration from JJ Grandville's Cent Proverbes (1845) captioned "Qui aime bien châtie bien" (Who loves well, punishes well).
An acid attack victim in Cambodia
FGM in Africa, Iraqi Kurdistan and Yemen, as of 2015 (map of Africa).
Worldwide map of the existence of laws against domestic violence and their potential to counter the problem. (Status: 2017)
Cycle of abuse, power & control issues in domestic abuse situations (double click to enlarge)
In this 1903 advertisement for Littleton Butter, domestic violence is portrayed as embarrassing but normal.
Share of women who believe a husband is justified in beating his wife
Acceptance of male partner's right to hit or beat a female partner among women aged 15–49 in Arab and Muslim majority countries, UNICEF, 2013.
Anti-dowry poster in Bangalore, India
The Ottawa Women's Monument, in Minto Park, downtown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, to the women murdered as a result of domestic violence; dedicated in 1992.
Children in Solomon Islands watch a play on gender-based violence.
Campaign against domestic violence in Uganda
Kalighat painting, Woman Striking Man with Broom, Calcutta, India, 1875
The views on child corporal punishment vary around the world. In most countries parental corporal punishment is not considered a form of DV (if not excessive), but some countries, mostly in Europe and Latin America, have made any form of child corporal punishment illegal.
Poster against DV in Bolgatanga, Ghana

Additionally, domestic violence often happens in the context of forced or child marriages.

William-Adolphe Bouguereau's The Proposal

Engagement

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Period of time between a marriage proposal and the marriage itself .

Period of time between a marriage proposal and the marriage itself .

William-Adolphe Bouguereau's The Proposal
Modern engagement gifts basket in Bangladesh.
Engagement photograph of Lionel Logue and Myrtle Gruenert, 1906
Christian art depicting the betrothal of Joseph the Carpenter and the Virgin Mary
The Très Riches Heures du Duc de Berry depicting a betrothal. Musée Condé, Chantilly.
A white gold wedding ring and a single-diamond, gold-banded engagement ring. The engagement ring is usually worn on the outside.
Ghanaian Engagement Ceremony. The bride presenting a gift to her father

In the case of child marriage, betrothal might last from infancy until the age of marriage.

A young poverty-stricken girl clutches her child. Frontispiece illustration from Street Arabs and Gutter Snipes by George Carter Needham, Boston, 1884.

Teenage pregnancy

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Pregnancy in a female under the age of 20, according to the WHO.

Pregnancy in a female under the age of 20, according to the WHO.

A young poverty-stricken girl clutches her child. Frontispiece illustration from Street Arabs and Gutter Snipes by George Carter Needham, Boston, 1884.
Ad promoting abstinence in Ghana for prevention of unplanned pregnancy and HIV/AIDS (2005)
US statistics in April 2015
Adolescent birth rate in women aged 10-19 years as of 2016
US teen pregnancy rate 15 to 19 year olds (per 1,000), including black, Hispanic, and white populations.

Laws against child marriage have reduced but not eliminated the practice.

A depiction of Vikings kidnapping a woman. Viking men would often kidnap foreign women for marriage or concubinage from lands that they had pillaged. Illustrated by French painter Évariste Vital Luminais in the 19th century.

Bride kidnapping

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Practice in which a man abducts the woman he wishes to marry.

Practice in which a man abducts the woman he wishes to marry.

A depiction of Vikings kidnapping a woman. Viking men would often kidnap foreign women for marriage or concubinage from lands that they had pillaged. Illustrated by French painter Évariste Vital Luminais in the 19th century.
Benjaminites seize wives from Shiloh in this 1860 woodcut by Julius Schnorr von Karolsfeld. There were not enough women available for marriage after the high losses in the Battle at Gibeah.
Map of Central Asia
Map of Uzbekistan. Karakalpakstan in red.
Ethno-linguistic groups in the Caucasus region
A raid by Kurds
Protest against forced conversion of Christian girls in Pakistan organised by NCJP
The painting depicts a Chilean woman being kidnapped during a malón.
Map of Chiapas, Mexico
L'enlèvement des Sabines (1637–38) by Nicolas Poussin: the mythological abduction of the Sabines has been a theme in Western art
Early Drevlian tribe in battle

Bride kidnapping is often (but not always) a form of child marriage.

Vani (custom)

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Custom found in parts of Pakistan where girls, often minors, are given in marriage or servitude to an aggrieved family as compensation to end disputes, often murder.

Custom found in parts of Pakistan where girls, often minors, are given in marriage or servitude to an aggrieved family as compensation to end disputes, often murder.

Vani is a form of arranged or forced child marriage, and the result of punishment decided by a council of tribal elders named jirga.

Aussteuerschrank – a dowry cabinet, currently in a German museum in Hauenstein.

Dowry

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Payment, such as property or money, paid by the bride's family to the groom or his family at the time of marriage.

Payment, such as property or money, paid by the bride's family to the groom or his family at the time of marriage.

Aussteuerschrank – a dowry cabinet, currently in a German museum in Hauenstein.
The Babylonian Marriage Market, Edwin Long, 1875.
Jadeite Cabbage – Jin received it as part of her dowry for her wedding to Guangxu, in 1889; originally displayed in Forbidden City (Beijing), it is now in National Palace Museum (Taipei City).
The dowry for the three virgins (Gentile da Fabriano, c. 1425, Pinacoteca Vaticana, Rome), the St. Nicholas legend.
The Dowry by 19th century Russian painter, Vasili Pukirev. Dowry was a common practice in Russia through the 19th century.
Fra Angelico's painting: The Story of St Nicholas - Giving Dowry to Three Poor Girls. The 15th-century painting relates to the story of a poor man with three daughters. In those days a young woman's father had to offer prospective husbands a dowry. Without a dowry, a woman was unlikely to marry. Mysteriously, on three occasions, so goes the story, a bag of gold appeared in their home, for the dowries, courtesy of St Nicholas. Later, St Nicholas came to be known as Santa Claus.
Muslim Ouled Nail girls waiting in the streets of an Algerian village to earn dowry as dancers. Algerian patrons invited them at cafés and festivals or to shrines of Muslim awliya. When their dowries were adequate they returned to their mountain villages and married within the tribe. This centuries-old tradition has continued into modern Algeria. (Photo from the late 19th century, courtesy of Tropenmuseum, The Netherlands)

UNICEF notes dowry helps perpetuate child marriage.