MANIKGANJ, BANGLADESH - AUGUST 19: 14 year old Mousammat Akhi Akhter stands against a photograph of Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and her father, founding leader of Bangaldesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in her home August 19, 2015 in Manikganj, Bangladesh. Last year, when she was only 13, Akhi got married a 27 year old man. She had finished 6th grade and wanted to wait until she was older to get married, but she says her parents felt social pressure to marry her young. In June of this year, Human Rights Watch released a damning report about child marriage in Bangladesh. The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 29% of girls marrying before the age of 15, and 65% of girls marrying before they turn 18. The detrimental effects of early marriage on a girl cannot be overstated. Most young brides drop out of school. Pregnant girls from 15-20 are twice as likely to die in childbirth than those 20 or older, while girls under 15 are at five times the risk. Research cites spousal age difference as a significant risk factor for violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage is attributed to both cultural tradition and poverty. Parents believe that it "protects" girls from sexual assault and harassment. Larger  dowries are not required for young girls, and economically, women's earnings are insignificant as compared to men's. (Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images)