A vicious cycle
Many child marriages are considered forced because in most situations, girls do not give their free and full consent. But in many cultural contexts, early marriage of girls is standard practice. As a result, girls may appear to give consent to respect and obey the wishes of their families and their communities.
The consequences of early marriage go beyond the lives of young married girls themselves, ultimately affecting the next generation.
Child brides are almost always forced to drop out of school. This not only limits girls’ own future prospects, but also their ability to contribute to their countries’ broader social and economic goals. Children of young, uneducated mothers are less likely to have a good start to their own education, to do well in class, or to continue beyond the minimum schooling. Even worse, daughters of uneducated mothers are especially likely to drop out of school, marry young, and continue the cycle.