Child Marriage Should Never Be Justified

Child Marriage Should Never Be Justified

December 4, 2020 5 By Jacinta Atieno

Child marriage can be referred to as a marriage or a union of two parties who have not attained the legal age of 18. Child marriage can also be a practice where young girls are married off to older people in the community because in some communities they believe that girls are inferior to boys and should be married off at an early age where they are not able to defend themselves or stand up to the community to decline the illegal act of child marriage carried out towards them.

In Kenya, some communities for instance the Kuria community practice child marriage whereby a girl is married off to an older woman’s home who is not able to bear children to bear children for that family in a tradition called Nyumba Boke.

The Kenyan government has managed to control the act of child marriage in majority communities in Article 21 regarding prohibition of child marriage. However, some countries in the African continent such as Ethiopia still carry out child marriages.

Majority of communities in the world carry out child marriage for different reasons. Some communities engage in early child marriage because they believe when a girl starts to menstruate she has become a woman and that she is ready for marriage. As a tradition, the community leaders marry them off for they believe it’s a generational growth and a belief in their tradition.

Young girls in other communities can also get married off by her family to eradicate poverty. A girl is married off and a bride price is offered to her family members because some parents or families believe that girls are a burden to them and they have more expenses and when the family cannot afford their expenses, they tend to marry them off and this also leads to gender equality.

Insecurity in some areas may also lead to child marriages for example in communities where they still experience ethnic clashes with their neighboring communities may put girls in great dangers and crisis among them being rape. This leads their parents to feel it’s in their best interest to get them married off at an early age to secure them and to maintain their dignity and protect their family honour. It also helps to avoid early pregnancies that may be as the result of the sexual assault.

Child marriage is a violation of Human Rights. The government and it’s people should help put an end to this unreasonable act in order to secure the future of the young girls in our communities. Instead of shutting down the young girls’ dreams, we should unite and carry out different demonstrations and educational activities that help put a stop to this insane act and support our children’s dreams and future at large