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

Date
2015-10-03
Authors
Ghrayeb, Farid AW
Rusli A, Mohamed
Ismail I, Mohd
Ghrayeb, Nahed F
Al Rifai, Ayesha
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Abstract
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.
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Keywords
early marriage, rural communities, impoverished, Yatta, Palestine
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