Early start to family life

Updated: 2014-11-21 23:04


Early start to family life

Xiao Cai gave birth to her first child two months ago as a 16-year-old, but also a wife who has already been married for a year.

In the villages of southwestern Yunnan province, some girls as young as 12 marry and have babies, driven by poverty and cultural traditions. In most case, their husbands are also in their teens.

The couples cannot get marriage certificates as they are below the national legal age to marry - 22 for men and 20 for women.

Child marriage affects both boys and girls - the overwhelming majority are female - from the perspective of health, education and social development. Women married in their teens or earlier struggle with the effects of falling pregnant too young and too often. Child marriage often means the end of education, leaving the girls in a poor socioeconomic situation.

Both members of the couple give up part of their social and school lives and the consequences last well beyond adolescence. [Photo/news.qq.com]

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