Bangladesh Weakens Longstanding Law Against Underage Marriage

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A 15-year-old girl being led by relatives to a car waiting to take her to her new home on the day of her marriage to a 32-year-old man in Bangladesh in 2015.

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Allison Joyce/Getty Images

DHAKA, Bangladesh — Bangladesh’s Parliament softened its landmark law against underage marriage on Monday, a move that human rights activists say could roll back the country’s decades-long campaign to curtail teenage pregnancy and maternal and infant mortality.

A new provision in the Child Marriage Restraint Act, which dates to 1929, allows girls under the age of 18 to marry in some circumstances. The change was met with praise from Islamist groups, who said it fell more in line with…

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