Niger is a developing country. It consistently has one of the lowest ranks of the United Nations' Human Development Index (HDI), currently 167th of 169 countries. In Niger, where early marriage rates approach the highest in the world, only 15 percent of adult women are literate, and fewer than one-third of girls are enrolled in primary school.
|A 13-year-old bride who is being married to a 38-year-old man in a village in Niger — in accordance with tradition — stays hidden in a room during the religious and festive part of her marriage ceremony|
Breaking out of the tradition to marry young is difficult. These girls do not often receive support from their families to say no to marriage.
Additionally, cultural, economic, and religious aspects of the communities when they live make it nearly impossible for the girls to break free from marrying early.
In the rural villages of Egypt, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Pakistan, India, and the Middle East, many young girls are rarely allowed out of their homes unless it is to work in the fields or to get married.
These uneducated girls are often married off at the young age of 11. Some families allow girls who are only 7 years old to marry. It is very unusual for a girl to reach the age of 16 and not be married. In Afghanistan, it is believed that between 60 and 80 percent of marriages are forced marriages.