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Early marriage rate too high in Dominican Republic

According to the 2014 Enhogar survey, 41% of Dominican girls under 18 are in marital unions in the Dominican Republic. The Latin American and Caribbean average is 29%. The Colectivo Mujer y Salud, a non-governmental agency that promotes women’s rights and health, pointed out that early marriage was a violation of girls’ rights.

The agency says that a significant proportion of the girls are under the age of 15.

Dominican law establishes the minimum age for marriage at 15 for girls and 16 for boys with parental consent, and providing the husband is no more than two years older than the wife. The 2014 Enhogar survey showed that in most cases the partners are older men. It found that in 24% of these cases, the husbands were at least 10 years older than their underage wives. Early marriage is more common in low-income sectors, which account for the vast majority of marriages involving minors.

The report in Diario Libre makes the point that while the Enhogar survey shows that 12% of Dominican women of reproductive age are cohabiting or married before the age of 15, so far there have not been any legal consequences.

The Colectivo says that teenage girls with low educational levels are six times more likely to get pregnant.

Research has shown that child marriage is due to the lack of educational and work opportunities for impoverished girls that see marriage or cohabitation as the best option for improving their quality of life. The girls’ parents also see child marriage as a family survival strategy and a way of reducing the household budget burden.

Source: DR1, DiarioLibre

Nov 27, 2015

Category: DR News |

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Last updated January 21, 2018 at 12:31 AM
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