Child marriage is related to child betrothal, and it includes civil cohabitation and court approved early marriages after teenage pregnancy.
In many cases, only one marriage-partner is a child, usually the female.
A bride price is the amount paid by the groom to the parents of a bride for them to consent to him marrying their daughter.
In certain countries, even when the legal marriage age is 18, cultural traditions take priority over legislative law.
Child marriage has widespread and long term consequences for child brides and grooms.
Tjeerd Van Staa was affiliated with CPRD at the time of the study, but is now affiliated with the Health e Research Centre, Farr Institute of Health Informatics Research, University of Manchester, United Kingdom.
The legally prescribed marriageable age in some jurisdictions is below 18 years, especially in the case of girls; and even when the age is set at 18 years, many jurisdictions permit earlier marriage with parental consent or in special circumstances, such as teenage pregnancy.
In this context, it is important to remember that in halakha, the term ‘minor’ refers to a girl under twelve years and a day.
A girl aged twelve and a half was already considered an adult in all respects.” Some Islamic marriage practices have permitted marriage of girls below the age of 10, because Shariat law is based in part on the life and practices of Muhammad, the Prophet, as described in part in Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim.
This practice creates an economic incentive where girls are sought and married early by her family to the highest bidder.
Child marriages of girls is a way out of desperate economic conditions, or simply a source of income to the parents.
As Friedman claims, "arranging and contracting the marriage of a young girl were the undisputed prerogatives of her father in ancient Israel." Most girls were married before the age of 15, often at the start of their puberty.
Ruth Lamdan writes: “The numerous references to child marriage in the 16th- century Responsa literature and other sources, shows that child marriage was so common, it was virtually the norm.
According to UNFPA, factors that promote and reinforce child marriage include poverty and economic survival strategies; gender inequality; sealing land or property deals or settling disputes; control over sexuality and protecting family honour; tradition and culture; and insecurity, particularly during war, famine or epidemics.