Early marriages or child marriage happen more frequently than we are willing to admit and it some places it is even legal. Child marriage is marriage of someone below 18 years of age.
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What is possibly wrong with child marriage? The following are some reasons child marriage should be stopped;

  • It IS child Abuse. Child abuse is defined as the physical, emotional or sexual mistreatment of children. Child abuse is punishable by the law.
  • It leads to Teenage Pregnancies. Teenage pregnancies are risky in that they put the child born at a health risk, the mother has lower chances of surviving during child birth, may suspend the mothers education, may lead to a life crisis and/or even family crisis, increase chances of single parenting, growing up too fast and missing out on some activities that are enjoyed by peers in the same age group.
  • Education is suspended because the new "child-wife" is usually required to perform all normal wifely duties and because they lack in education may be trapped in the marriage without a means of getting out.
  • The health of the married child is at risk because firstly their bodies may not be ready physically, emotionally or even mentally for sex. They may be ignorant on proper contraception and reproductive services available.
  • Can lead to early death as teenage pregnancy is a leading cause in teenage death. Many young mothers have a problem during child delivery as their bodies may not be ready for stress that comes with child birth.
  • The child may be stuck in an abusive, non- loving marriage and may never get to reach their full potential as the woman they were supposed to be.

In urban areas many seem oblivious to the horrors of child marriage except when it is heard in the media but soon forgotten except for those striving to end it and in some rural areas child marriage may even seem the right thing to be done to a girl child.

The reality of child marriage is harsh and worse than imagined so when you hear about it, do not read, feel bad and forget about it. What you should do is read, feel their pain and act on it. Search for organisations working against child marriage and donate. Go ahead and spend a summer volunteering in a program sensitizing on child marriage. Do research and come up with solutions to the problem of child marriage. Pass on the information. Do not be a spectator and get into action. Spare a child a lifetime of horror and imprisonment in a marriage that was not of their freewill.

No one decided where they were born and neither did these girls, they could have been us and we could have been they. We would have loved if they helped give us the life we never knew we could have and so we should do the same!

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