Prevalence of Early Marriage among Women in Rural Palestinian Community: A Cross-Sectional Study

Ghrayeb, Farid AW
Rusli A, Mohamed
Ismail I, Mohd
Ghrayeb, Nahed F
Al Rifai, Ayesha
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Introduction: Early marriage of girls is rooted in developing countries. Nevertheless, the situation is varied greatly by country and by regions within each country. It has been considered a human-rights violation of girls and young women, where contributing to mother and early morbidity and mortality. Objectives: To determine the prevalence of early marriage before 18 years of age in young adult women in Yatta, south Palestine. Methods: This study was conducted on 500 married women in Yatta. All the women were interviewed personally using a structured Arabic questionnaire. Prevalence of early marriage was estimated for the whole sample. Chi-square was used to compute the frequencies & percentages. Results: Overall 41·4% of women marry or enter a union before the age of 18 years, and 54·6% do so by their age of 18-25 years. Women's and husbands' age at marriage, husbands' education appear to be significant determinants of consanguineous marriages. The results indicated no significant differences between education and early marriage based on consanguinity. Conclusion: Early marriage is a common occurrence and highly pervasive in the region and that it is the most dangerous of all the harmful traditional practices. Thus, there is a need for urgent family-planning, maternal and child health intervention programs targeted to married adolescents to minimize the high fertility (early and frequent pregnancies), and to control other outcomes of this practice.
early marriage, rural communities, impoverished, Yatta, Palestine