In some cultures, families believe that early marriage can protect girl's reputation and secure their futures. Early marriage is linked with poverty. In poor households, girls may be considered an economic liability and married off at a very young age, often without their consent. But early marriage tends to perpetuate the cycle of poverty.
Conversely, girls who are educated are more likely to marry and start childbearing later and have smaller and healthier families.
In places where women can freely make decisions about their reproductive lives and where they can pursue school or work, they overwhelmingly choose to delay the birth of their first child and to have fewer children. Both choices lead to fewer problems with childbirth, healthier mothers, children and families
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