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Child Marriage: The Promise Of A ‘Better Life’

Child marriage is considered a way of giving children a chance at a better life whilst also reducing one more mouth to feed. Low-income families face the real burden of putting food on the table. As a result of that, studies have shown a higher prevalence of child marriages among low-income communities [1].

The “better life” that many are promised is often laced with deprivation of education, social mobility and economic opportunities. The longer a child is married, the lesser chance there is for her to continue her studies.

Child marriage in Malaysia

Generally, those that marry young tend to drop out of school early and permanently. Thus affecting their chances of getting better jobs and a higher standard of living that can come with a better education. This traps the individual in the cycle of poverty.

Child marriage in Malaysia

Source: Human Rights Watch

Few child brides have decision making powers within their own marital households, and in the rare cases where they are allowed to work, they only participate in lower labour force careers or small household businesses and low earning power [1].  These ladies also have less control over their household assets. 

Subsequently, when these young brides become young mothers, their children will also be raised in a low-income household, thus passing on the cycle of poverty to the next generation. 

Child marriage reduces opportunities

Source: World Bank Group

To get the latest snapshot of Child Marriage in Malaysia, read this article. And for a more in-depth look at Child Marriage, its implications and the list of changemakers working to combat this issue, read our whitepaper. These articles were last updated in March 2021.

Explore our sources:

  1. Wodon, Q. et al. (2017). Economic Impacts Of Child Marriage: Global Synthesis Report. Link.
  2. Mohd Awal, N. A. et al. (2018). Child Marriage in Malaysia. Link.
  3. Parsons, J. et al. (2015). Economic Impacts of Child Marriage: A Review of the Literature. Link.
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