One of Breakthrough’s current initiatives is to end early marriage in India. We commissioned the
formative research in this study in order to fully understand the underlying context of and inform
our programs on this issue.
Early marriage is the norm in every area studied. The average age at marriage for girls was 15-17.
There are, however, some instances of girls getting married as young as 12 and 13. Based on focus
group discussions, it emerged that generally, girls, as soon as they reach puberty and start attending
to household chores by age 14. At that time, parents start to look for grooms. The girl is married as
soon as a suitable groom is found.
While the negative consequences of early marriage disproportionately affects girls, any forced
marriage, or marriage to which one is too young to consent, is a violation of human rights.
We are sharing our findings to help advance the broader field and support our partners working on
similar issues in India and around the world.