At least 11,000 women in Orissa have become mothers before the age of 15, an analysis of the fertility status of women by the state Directorate of Census has revealed.
Though the age of marriage of a girl is fixed at 18 years, the analysis of the census data revealed that in the age group of less than 15 years, out of 41,729 ever married women, about 26 per cent of the women have given birth one or two children, said Director of Census Bishnupada Sethi.
In the age group of 15-19 years, there were 2.9 lakh married women in Orissa. Of them, over 65,000 (22.52%) had given birth to one child, over 12,000 (4.23%) to two children, 4,400 (1.55%) to three children and 5,500 (1.92%) to four children.
Out of the 2 crore women in Orissa reported in the census, 1.19 crore (57.76%) are married and gave birth to, on an average, 2.6 children.
Of this 1.19 crore women, 14.27 per cent had not given birth to any child. While 17.04 per cent delivered one child, 22.93 per cent gave birth to two, 17.74 per cent to three, 12.23 per cent to four, 7.13 per cent to five, 4.10 per cent to six and 4.56 per cent to seven or more.
Orissa’s 11,992,001 married women, as per the 2011 census, gave birth to 31,367,713 children, out of which 16,433,311 are males and 14,934,402 are females. “This shows that the preference of male child in society still prevails in spite of several steps taken by the government and non-government agencies,” said Sethi.