Gender Equality

Living Edition
| Editors: Walter Leal Filho, Anabela Marisa Azul, Luciana Brandli, Amanda Lange Salvia, Tony Wall

Child, Early, and Forced Marriage

  • Umesh Chandra PandeyEmail author
Living reference work entry


The term Marriage is used in its widest sense to cover a betrothal or union between two people, recognized under civil law, religious law, and/or customary rites, and understood to be binding by the spouses concerned, their families, and wider communities, whether or not it has been formally registered in law (Turner 2013, p. 6).

Child, Early, and Forced Marriage (CEFM) refers to different forms of marriages involving girls (and to a lesser extent boys) including child marriages, early marriages, and forced marriages of anyone under 18 years of age. The terms have overlapping meanings and used quite often interchangeably (Abdul Cader 2017, p. 7).

Child Marriageis a marriage in which at least one of the parties is a child. Based on the Convention of the Rights of the Child, a child is “every human being below the age of 18 years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier.” Child marriage refers to both formal marriages and informal unions in...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indira Gandhi National Open University, Regional CentreBhopalIndia

Section editors and affiliations

  • Chhabi Kumar
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Sociology and Social WorkRani Durgavati UniversityJabalpurIndia