This year, Bangladesh passed a new law stating that the consent of a child under 18 is no longer required for a marriage to occur as long as the parents of the couple as well as judicial courts rule that the marriage "is in the best interest of the underaged female or male."As many human rights groups consider this to be a huge step backwards for the rights of children, calls for better education and increased legal intervention from foreign humanitarian groups are prevalent. However, that's exactly what the problem is. These groups are foreign. They need to understand what is fundamentally plaguing the struggling Asian nation. Bangladesh's GDP per capita is less than $1,500, around bottom 20% globally (see source KNOEMA). This naturally leads to starvation and malnutrition. According to the Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department, 56% of Bangladeshi children are significantly underweight. With an economy so insufficient, how can you expect the people to gain from an education and a legal system when they can barely feed themselves? If you watch documentaries and other media on the issue, you will see interviews where mothers are complaining about how they are unable to feed their children and they view child marriage as a way to make more food available to the remaining members of their family. They also sometimes express hopes that perhaps the child's new family will treat him/her (usually her) better that his/her original family ever could. This usually doesn't occur because, as previously mentioned, the Bangladeshi economy is very, very weak in general. Therefore, while I do believe that child marriage is a very serious issue, I also believe that it is really a byproduct of extreme poverty more so than oppressive mysogynic sentiments. Would it not be more effective for humanitarian groups to instead encourage the Bangladeshi government to focus more on measures to benefit the nation's finances (i.e. attracting manufacturing, augmenting exports of natural resources, etc.)? Wouldn't the increased national wealth from these actions help families improve their living standards and therefore decrease their reliance on child marriage as a way to save money?