Child marriage of a child below the age of 18years is a violation of child rights and it poses a lot of problem to the child, it is also a violation to the girl child right.
Let look at possible reasons people give out their child for child marriage
Poverty: This happens to be the major reason. Where a man not capable to feed his family will see his girl child as a ticket to wealth to fend for his family.
Customs and traditions: Some customs and tradition believe that a girl child should get married early and inability to do so will bring shame on the family.
Strengthening bond between two families
No or partial enforcement of law against child marriage: where there is no enforcement of such laws, people see no crime in it.
The family thinks it is the best way to secure a future for their child.
Some children go into marriage to get the love they never got at home due to discrimination against their gender.
CONSEQUENCES THAT COME FROM GETTING A GIRL CHILD MARRIED BELOW THE MATURE AGE?
SUICIDE: This is an option on mind of the victims while marital duties they are unprepared for outweigh on them
Illiteracy: There is a high turnout of school drop outs when bride duties weigh more than opportunity to learn.
Health Challenges: Marriage by age 20 has become a risk factor for Sexually transmitted infection for young and adolescent girls, it has devastating consequences on a girl’s health since no test was carried out on the men and the men are tend to have multiple sex partners. One of the major one is fistula due to childbirth as their body isn’t matured to take on that role. Any of such with fistula is often left on her own and ridiculed in the community.
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Poverty: their families gave them away either for security or wealth but they become poor as there is no means of income for them and they depend greatly on their husbands.
Infant mortality: This is high due to underdeveloped body, the baby’s born may be presented with low birth weight.
Abuse and violence on the bride: The physical health of the female spouse in a child marriage faces several threats. These young girls are often the victims of domestic violence, and they lack the means to advocate for themselves. Additionally, child brides often live with their husband’s extended family, which may also be a source of violent abuse, in crowded conditions.
Mental health: Child marriage disproportionately affects girls and has an impact on their mental and physical health for the rest of their lives. Not only are they denied the right to choose their own partner, they are marginalized and subject to various religious, societal, political and cultural practices that fail to honour their basic human rights.
GIRL CHILD MARRIAGE – What Should you and I do?
Government: should enforce the laws against child marriage. And the dangers of child marriage should be taught in schools.
Media: should create awareness on child marriage and the consequences.
Community level: People should be taught on the act of restraining child marriage and also the dangers. NGOs should also assist in curbing child marriages in their programmes.
We also all should come together to stop any and report to the appropriate quarters to deal with issues relating to this. The future of the children lies in our hands. Save the children, save the future. Change our world. We all have a role to play.