According to the UN 37,000 uderage girls are married each day affecting their very well being in unimaginable ways. Around the world, 1 in 9 girls are married before the age of 15. If the trend keeps up, 140 million girls will have been married off by the end of the next decade. Though practiced around the world, some cases are worse than others. Sometimes girls get married at age 17, sometimes at age 6. In the end, it all comes down to how intense there situation is. If there is war, extreme or poverty,, it can be a leading factor in a girls marriage. In some cases young girls are being raped and killed by their husbands. The same husband that there fathers sold them off to. Girls are being denied their rights for basic needs, like there education and a childhood. These young girls are sold off as soon as they reach puberty. In the years leading up to the marriage, the family force feeds them milk and food to fatten them up, so they can fit in dresses and look more like a women.
In countries that are stricken by poverty, families need money to feed and clothe their family and them. That’s what drives them to sell their daughters. As you can tell child marriage is a real thing happening all over the world. At the end of the day this horrible, disgusting, saddening thing must stop for the sake of the young girls all over the world. The first problem is that families are having to many kids. One household can have up to 15 children, which is a lot of mouths to feed, and to many bodies to clothe. Since the families are living in extreme poverty, the father often takes out debt, which he can’t pay back. As a compromise the man who lent him the money, will ask for his young daughters hand in marriage. That is also a great thing for the family because that is one less mouth to feed. Then when a girl gets married she will have many kids, and that will make the cycle go around again. Sometimes a girl will not survive childbirth and will die, which leaves the offspring alone, and the father will not take care of them. War and terrorism are tearing countries apart, which takes over the government’s attention. The government pays attention to the war, not the girls of their country. Many of the places where child marriage happens, are third world countries. The countries, have economies that are struggling, or being torn apart by war or terrorism. Niger, which has a 76% rate of child marriage, is in a badeling with Boko Haram Insurgency. It started in 2009 when a jihadist group called Boko Haram started a rebellion against the government of Nigeria, which is causing problems for there government right now. Another example is the Central African Republic, witch has a 68% child marriage rate. It is one of the poorest countries, with 60% of it population living in poverty. As you can tell these countries have very serious problems that they need to face, I think the is why child marriage is not there main problem at the moment. The second problem is people’s religion and tradition. Many of the brides mothers, have been in an arranged marriage.It has been happening for thousands of years, so people don’t understand life without it. Child marriage has just become a way of life for many girls around the globe. Before you start your period, you clean the house, you care for your siblings, but once you started your period it’s all over, and your new life begins. It is a start of womanhood, and when you are a women you get married. Here in the US, people treasure their kids, but in other places it’s just not like that. People are having up to 15 kids, in most places three kids is considered a lot. There is just a different culture in other places. It is really hard to change people mind on their culture.
It affects the obvious. It affects young girls everywhere. The get beat, raped, and verbally abused. The brides are sometimes forced into intercouse at the age of 6. A girl can contract many diseases through sex, cervical cancer, malaria, death during childbirth, and obstetric fistulas, which can leave a girl in labor for up to six days. In the article “I’m Just A Child” a child bride named Gloria she was sold for a single goat. She was beat for sixs months by her husband, then figured out she was pregnant. When she was pregnant with the child, her husband died. After his passing she got married to his brother who beat her so hard she lost the baby. In the same article, Calderwood talks about young girls struggles when they become pregnant and keep going to school. The constant teasing and mocking from their classmates, make it impossible to study and do well. Therefore, most pregnant and married teens who keep going o school, drop out. There are many stories of all the terrible things that have happened to young girls all over the world because of this horrible problem.
Child marriage affects the children of these girls, because when you have a mother who is also a child, she would not know how to care for a child properly. You would have a father who, if you were a girl, would not stand up for your rights. Your father would beat you, and make you work all day. Sometimes, if you were a girl you would not be able to get an education, just like your mother. Then you would be sold in the same way as your mother, and the cycle would start all over. The children of the brides might also have a chance of being malnourished and death would be a possibility. When a child gives birth there is a very high possibility that the baby could die. Especially if the mother had obstetric fistulas. As you can tell not only is the situation not good for the mother, it is very bad for the child as well. It affects the families of the girls in a favorable way, because they are profiting from it. Sometimes the price can be as small as a single goat or much higher in terms of money, and live stock. Sometimes it can cause a rift between the family, if certain people don’t like the fact that she is marrying too young, or if they don’t like the person, it can cause major damage to a family’s relationships. Sometimes a family member will try to save the girl from the marriage, which will affect the family dynamic. This might cause violence, and family members may get killed. As you can tell this affects the bride’s family, as well as her, and her offspring.
Trying to solve this problem is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. Impossible. This probable is so hard to find the answer to, because, in general, anyone from outside the culture would think otherwise. They would have never grown up think that was normal, but millions of people have. Just because our country says something is wrong doesn’t mean it is wrong for everyone. If we were ever going to solve this problem, we need more influential people speaking out about this. We need them to rally millions of people to put pressure on our government. Why our government you ask? Well, are government would stop trading with these places, where child marriage is happening to often which would put pressure on them to change their laws. For example, on the website Girls Not Brides, it said that Niger has a 76% child marriage rate, well we import many goods to there country. We traded Niger 9.2 billion in total (both ways) during 2017. Well what if we cut ties with this country who is spending so much on our trade. They would want it back, and the only way to get it back would be to change the law. They would need to make an age limit for child marriage, and enforce it.The second country hit by this is the Central African Republic with has a 68% child marriage rate. Goods exports totaled $11 million; goods imports totaled $2 million. What if we cut of ties with that country until they fixed there child marriage laws?. As you can tell this is a impossible task, but the word impossible spells I’m Possible.
Teens can help by getting the world out to their friends and family. If they educate themselves enough on child marriage they can teach people about it and how to stop it. I think if people have a better grasp of what is going on, they will be way more passionate about the cause. I believe social media is a great way to spread information like this. Also is people find a very heartfelt, true story, about a child marriage survivor, people might sympathize, which will cause them to take action. Teens can also help by raising money for organizations that can help stop child marriage and help by putting pressure on their governments. Teens can do this in many ways, bake sales, selling art, lemonade stands, because anything helps! There are a few teen groups talking about the issue of child marriage. Teen Vogue has written many articles about child marriage and what people are doing to stop it. Teen Vogue has 7.9 million readers around the world, so this is a huge way to put out information. A few girls, who were affected by child marriage, had the guts, to speak out and tell the world there stories, after divorcing their husbands. A girl named Nujood was sold to a man who beat and raped her every night.
Throughout this ordeal, Nujood stayed song and would not give up, she worked hard, trying to divorce from her husband. After a few months it happened. Nujood wrote a book about her struggle and educated many people on how child marriage affected her. As you can tell, child marriage is not something that you would ever want to happen to someone you know. The thought of it is spine chilling, even sickening. Girls lose their futures, they lose their families, they lose their chance at an education or a fulfilling life. Child marriage is not something we can wait to fix. Child marriage must end now. Stopping child marriage presents an impossible challenge, you can’t just walk into somebody’s house and try to change their culture. It will not happen. Most of the places affected by child marriage are third world countries that have many other problems going on, making child marriage an afterthought. We can attempt to stop child marriage by putting pressure on our government to stop trading with those countries in order to make them rethink their marriage laws.
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