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I wonder how one might address other social determinants that act as barriers to girls being educated. Educating girls is well established as having a profound affect on creating economic growth.The 1917 codification of Islamic family law in the Ottoman empire distinguished between the age of competence for marriage, which was set at 18 for boys and 17 for girls, and the minimum age for marriage, set at 12 for boys and nine for girls.
Classical Sunni jurisprudence allows a father to contract a marriage for his underaged girl.
Appropriate age for consummating the marriage, which could occur several years after signing the marriage contract, was to be determined by the bride, groom and the bride's guardian, since medieval jurists held that the age of fitness for intercourse was too variable for legislation.
In Manusmriti, a father is considered to have wronged his daughter if he fails to marry her before puberty and if the girl is not married in less than three years after reaching puberty, she can search for the husband herself.
By Judaism, the minimal girl age, for marriage, was 12 years and one day, "na'arah", as mentioned in the ancient Talmud Mishnah books (compiled between 536 BCE – 70 CE, redacted in the 3rd century CE), Order Nashim Masechet Kiddushin 41 a & b.
In many cases, only one marriage-partner is a child, usually the female.
Causes of child marriages include poverty, bride price, dowry, cultural traditions, laws that allow child marriages, religious and social pressures, regional customs, fear of remaining unmarried, illiteracy, and perceived inability of women to work for money.
In 1275 sexual relations with girls under either 12 or 14 (depending on interpretation of the sources) were criminalized; the age was reduced to 10 in 1576.
In the late 18th and early 19th centuries the British colonial administration introduced marriage age restrictions for Hindu and Muslim girls on the Indian subcontinent.
The difficulty to save and preserve wealth for dowry was common, particularly in times of economic hardship, or persecution, or unpredictable seizure of property and savings.
These difficulties pressed families to betroth their girls, irrespective of her age, as soon as they had the resources to pay the dowry.