This blog is intended to go along with Population: An Introduction to Concepts and Issues, by John R. Weeks, published by Cengage Learning. The latest edition is the 12th (it came out in 2015), but this blog is meant to complement any edition of the book by showing the way in which demographic issues are regularly in the news.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

Children Having Children in Yemen

Protests and the chance of some kind of regime change persist in Yemen, a country that has seen massive population increase over the past few decades, as I have noted previously. One of the reasons that 66 percent of Yemenis are under the age of 25 is that it is a country in which children are having children--women are married at a young age with the expectation that they will soon begin to bear children. USAID has been sponsoring a Safe Age at Marriage project to encourage a delay in marriage in countries like Yemen:

Yemen is one of 20 "hot spot" countries for child marriage, a conservative Muslim nation where a seventh of all girls are married by age 14 and nearly half by age 17. In rural districts, girls as young as 9 are often betrothed. Most "hot spot" countries are clustered in central Africa, with other pockets in Southeast Asia and Central America.
Various factors have institutionalized child marriage. For some, it is a tribal custom. For others, exchanging daughters without dowries in "trade marriages" makes economic sense.
Regardless of its causes, child marriage represents a human rights infringement and a public health problem. It deprives young girls of a childhood, enhances their risk of domestic abuse, and entraps them in a cycle of poverty.
On April 26, 2011, the lead coordinator of that project, Dalia Al Eryani, will participate in an online panel discussion at the Population Reference Bureau. If you miss it, you can review it (and prior online discussions) at the PRB website.

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