Child marriage is still a massive problem in many developing countries. The issue is most concentrated in South Asia. In this article, it is reinforced that the consequences of child marriage put the girl at risk of early pregnancies with life-threatening conditions.
Child marriages defined as marriage before 18 years, applies to both boys and girls but it is more common among young girls. The Convention of Rights of the Child (CRC) also set the minimum age of reaching adulthood. According to CRC, any human being below the age of 18 is a child the CRC has been rectified by 146 countries. They usually have high maternal mortality and morbidity rates, low education level of girls especially secondary education.
In present situations through 158 countries have set the legal age for marriage at 18 years laws are not forced. Most countries of South Asia have a high percentage of child marriages thereby making their struggle to development partially difficult. One-third of girls in the developing countries are married before the age of 18 mostly girls marriage at the age of 15.
Often new brides were expected to demonstrate their fertility after marriage by producing a male heir. According to the UN, adolescent girls give birth every year and the major cause of death of girls during age 15- 19 years due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
The newborn child deaths are 50 per cent higher in mothers who are below 20 years of age. These deaths are due to discourage the girls to ask their husband’s permission or they have no knowledge of access to what they need. Even though some parents believe that early marriage will protect their daughter from sexual violence. The child brides also showed signs of severe depression and often lead to deterioration health of girls.
Early child marriage is a huge problem in poor communities. Girls lose their opportunity for education. They lose their opportunity to choose their partner and must live with that pain for the rest of life. Michelle Bachelet Executive Director of UN Women States: “No girl should be robbed of her childhood, her education and health and her aspiration”.
Once a girl is married at an early age she is deprived of her early education and the opportunity to equip herself with her skills. She becomes a mother before her body and mind are ready for this experience. Often girls are marriages early to provide protection, security and the support of a male guardian. The question ‘honour’ is considered by parents and relatives, who want to make certain the girls are married early to grooms approved by the families.
According to a report by Girls Not Brides, poverty is one of the most powerful drives of the harmful practice in the country. Girls are thought of as an economic burden by parents who believe they will more financially secure once the girls are married off and out of their responsibilities. Sometimes children who refuse to marry or choose a marriage partner against the wishes of their families may be punished or even killed.
Through there is substantive work initiated to reduce the incidence of child marriages. Each country has to set up its own mid-term and long-term goals to bring about a significant reduction in child marriage. Partnerships with related Government agencies, NGOs, Media, Women’s group will lead to aware the parents about girl’s education and give the opportunity to choose their partners. They must be provided with proper education in order to build a strong nation. It’s time to put an end to child marriages.
- A girl’s right is to say no to Child Marriages.
- Girls Not Brides.
- Child marriages are severe, don’t make them shed of tears.
Submitted by “Urooj Zafar”