Nepal has been listed as one of the top 10 countries in the world where child marriage is rampant among boys, the United Nations Children’s Fund said in its first-ever in-depth analysis of child grooms.
In Nepal, one in every 10 men aged between 20 and 24 was married as a child, UNICEF said in its report.
Using data from 82 countries, the study revealed that child marriage among boys is prevalent across many countries around the world, spanning sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, South Asia, and East Asia and the Pacific.
“Marriage steals childhood. Child grooms are forced to take on adult responsibilities for which they may not be ready,” UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore pointed out.
“Early marriage brings early fatherhood and with it added pressure to provide for a family, cutting short education and job opportunities,” she said.
According to the data, the Central African Republic has the highest prevalence of child marriage among males (28 per cent), followed by Nicaragua (19 per cent) and Madagascar (13 per cent).
Nepal, which ranks 10, is the only country in South Asia with a significant prevalence of child marriage among both boys and girls, according to the report.
The new estimates bring the total number of child brides and child grooms to 765 million.
Girls remain disproportionately affected, with one in five young women aged 20 to 24 years old married before their 18th birthday, compared to one in 30 young men.