Pregnant at 14 in Bangladesh

“How many months pregnant are you?”

“Five months along.”

“And how old are you?”

“I’m 18.” She glances at me nervously, wondering if I am one of the good guys or the bad. She hesitates, but then continues, “Actually, I’m about 14.”

“You don’t know your real age then?”

“Well, on paper it says I’m 18, because you have to be 18 to get married.”

“Are you excited about giving birth?”

“To be honest, I’m very scared. I don’t think I’m ready to have a child, but my mother in law insisted that she would throw both my husband and me into the streets if we didn’t give her a grandchild to play with.”

“How does that make you feel?”

“To be honest, I’m rather glad that I would have someone to play with myself.”

Spotted in Shatkhira, Khulna, in August 2013.

 

Photograph Courtesy of UNICEF/Shafiqul Alam Kiron, 2013

Photograph Courtesy of UNICEF/Shafiqul Alam Kiron, 2013

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3 thoughts on “Pregnant at 14 in Bangladesh

  1. Unfortunately, south Asian region including Bangladesh, Pakistan and India are really anti-women friendly countries. I am appalled sometimes to hear educated male colleagues saying will go for a baby right after marriage so that way she stays and has maternal responsibilities etc.. Slavery of a sort. truly sad to see this young girl and mother to be, thanks for the post.

  2. Unfortunately, south Asian region including Bangladesh, Pakistan and India are really anti-women friendly countries. I am appalled sometimes to hear educated male colleagues saying will go for a baby right after marriage so that way she stays and has maternal responsibilities etc.. Slavery of a sort. truly sad to see this young girl and mother to be, thanks for the post.

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