Child Marriage: Turn a child into a bride, turn the future of a nation into a hell.

Kata Kata

Admin | Posted On : 12-05-2024

Officially, a child is a human between infancy and puberty. From the above definition, it becomes clear that a child is hardly precocious but deserves parental and societal guidance and protection to navigate the stormy world of enormous problems and challenges. Forcing them into detrimental early marriage is never the expected means of building a healthy and brighter future for them. 

Despite the religious, cultural, ethnicity or whatever reasons to support the dehumanizing child marriage practice, the overwhelming fact remains the same: A nation that turns a child into a bride turns its future into a hell.

Child marriage, which violates the rights of children, particularly girls, is a complex issue with significant social, cultural, economic, and legal implications, including deprivation of education, healthcare, and the opportunity to develop as individuals fully.

As a child, a young, innocent girl, you had those rosy ambitions, hopes, aspirations and dreams – from being a doctor, nurse, lawyer, teacher to an engineer, etc. You looked forward to building a beautiful, peaceful, healthy and happy family with a man you loved. I mean a man of your choice. But impromptu – and unceremoniously – those your childhood dreams would be scattered and shattered by gender ideology. Your life aspirations are wholly disoriented and forcefully altered unimaginably. Abruptly, your golden blossom life would change from the epitome of hope to the void of hopelessness, leaving you incredibly helpless and a precarious victim. All these hazardous situations become a reality simply because of one's gender. As a girl, you are forced into a child marriage with an older man you never knew or loved; that sad, careless decision would become the ultimate end of your hopeful dreams – and the beginning of your existential nightmares.

Of course, some of us would argue that child marriage is an integral part of their culture and religion. Still, such an argument often fails to address flagrant global gender inequalities, violence against women, health problems, and poverty, which are part of many harms associated with child marriage. The general assumption in some quarters is that child marriage to an older man offers the girl protection by the older husband holds no water when evaluated in the light of the fact that the girls are effectively turned into victims of violence - physically, mentally, sexually and otherwise – in the hands of the significantly older husbands who see their baby wives as their properties and treat them as enslaved people, without fear of losing them. It does not help that these brides face enormous health challenges during pregnancy and labour, which often lead to the death of the girls.

How do the young brides fair economically? Without any formal education or job opportunities and entirely dependent on their husband financially, you could rightly argue that the girls are systematically turned into economic slaves by their husbands. They depend solely on their husbands to survive economically.