About 55 per cent of married women lack the
freedom to go alone to a hospital or health
centre, or outside their village, town or city6.
Domestic violence remains a huge threat to
the security of adolescent girls. A UNICEF
report found that extreme physical abuse at
home that led to death accounted for more
than 70 per cent of the reported domestic
violence cases involving young housewives
and girls aged 13-187.
Bangladesh has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world. More than two-thirds
of adolescent girls are married (of those aged 10-19)8. Nearly two in five girls aged 15-17 are
married, despite 18 being the legal age for marriage9.
More than half the adolescent girls (55 per cent) become mothers by the time they are 19,
and half of these mothers are acutely malnourished. The maternal mortality rate among
adolescent mothers is double the national rate10.
The national maternal mortality rate is one of the worst
in South Asia, at 320 deaths per 100,000 births11. This
means about 11,000 women die giving birth every year.
Most deliveries take place at home away from
emergency obstetric care and without a skilled
Almost one in every seven maternal deaths is caused
Nearly half of all mothers are malnourished (45 per
cent)13. Anaemia is a severe public health problem for
pregnant women, which has been estimated at around
46 per cent. Almost one third of adolescent girls also
suffer from anaemia14.
Girls are typically fed less and last. Nationally, 4.8 per
cent of girls aged 12-59 months were malnourished
compared with 3.6 per cent of boys15.
Almost one in every two husbands decides their wife’s
health care (48 per cent). They often solely determine their children’s health care (32 per