One In Five Underage Girls Forced Into Marriage In India: Lancet

Anuradha Varanasi - Forbes

Even though the prevalence of child marriage declined in India from 49.4% in 1993 to 22.3% in 2021, a Lancet Global Health study revealed that one in five underage girls and one in six boys are still getting married off before the age of 18. By 2021, researchers estimated that more than 13.4 million women aged 20 to 24 were forced into marriage during childhood.

“Child marriage is a human rights violation,” lead author Jewel Gausman, a research associate at Harvard T H Chan School of Public Health said in the university's press release. “It is both a cause and a consequence of social and economic vulnerability that leads to a range of poor health outcomes. The state/union territory stagnation in reaching zero child marriage that we observed is a significant concern—and is a call for India to reignite progress.”