Child marriage

In the Dominican Republic, more than one third of young women aged between 18 and 22 get married or form an informal union before turning 18, while one in five has already given birth before reaching that age. Child marriage is not only a moral issue; it also has economic impacts for the country. This issue was the main focus of a study prepared by the World Bank and UNICEF, and presented at the National Palace with the participation of the Vice President of the Dominican Republic, Margarita Cedeño; the Finance Minister, Isidoro Santana; UNICEF’s regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Maria Cristina Perceval; and the World Bank representative in the country, Alessandro Legrottaglie. Child marriage and early unions have a significant impact on the number of children women will have. At the national level, ending child marriage could reduce the total fertility rate by 10 percent. Child marriage is likely to be the main cause of early pregnancies... —