Early and Forced Child Marriages in Rural Western Nepal
After reviewing the state of early and forced child marriage (ECM) globally and nationally within Nepal, this research assessed the determinants, consequences and preventive measures of ECM in rural municipalities in Nepal today. This mixed method surveyed 167 households taking 15 % sample from the clusters of three wards of Badhaiyatal Rural Municipality in Bardiya and Dullu Municipality in Dailekh of Western Nepal. Besides household survey, six Focus Group Discussions (FGDs), 16 Key Informant's Interviews (KIIs), and 12 In-depth-Interviews (IDIs) were also conducted. There was the prevalence of ECM in 94% of the total sampled households. Majority (64%) of the marriages had taken place at the age of 15-19 years. Besides, about 23% of the marriage had occurred at 10-14 years. Average age at marriage was 16.5 years. Lack of awareness, self-elopement, misuse of social media, and parents’ perception of daughters as burden were some contributing factors of ECM. Unsafe sexual behavior, unwanted pregnancy and its risk to unsafe abortion, maternal and child mortality, deprivation of education and self- dependence and violence were some effects of ECM. Recommendations to address ECM and curb its negative effects are presented.