Whenever the term “child bride” pops into a conversation over a cup of coffee at the dinner table, the practice that happened in the olden days where girls had little opportunities in life before our time comes to mind. And the eerie thought of an underaged girl in a cult being married too young too soon which has been mentioned in this website. Recently, some news coming all the way from Malaysia almost left me having a heart attack online. This news made headlines in Malaysia around December 2010 which created an uproar among rights groups and public citizens alike. The girl in this news article is a 14-year-old child married not to a 15-year-old and not even to a 16-year-old boy. Her husband is 23 and what is even more shocking, a schoolteacher! Who in the right mind would allow a 14-year-old schoolgirl to be married to someone who is old enough to be her big brother? What does this 23-year-old see in a little kid who is only a child and someone’s baby. It is so ironic to note that marriage happens in a developed country which boasts its first-class tall buildings and state-of-the-art infrastructure.
After some time, the 14-year-old bride was interviewed had a post-wedding interview which was featured on Yahoo!7 online recently. Reading what she said left me, as a reader, shaking my head in disbelief. A 14-year-old child should be staying in school and enjoying her adolescent years rather than take up the duties of a married woman. It is more shocking to note that her mum must be mad enough to allow her daughter to carry on and be a wife beyond her years (if you also include the government not giving a toss about law reforms to ban child marriages). Every mother wants her child to have a bright future but this mother really just take the cake much to my shock. But then again, perhaps maybe the mother has no say in all this because it could be possible that the girl’s dad may play a role on her marriage with the older guy but I don’t know if it is really true but this is just my theory. They can justify that their culture and religion allow child brides to married all they like until the cows come home, but I think this is just wrong. Therefore, I ask myself how long can the marriage between a fourteen-year-old girl and her twenty-something husband can last. We all know what teenagers are usually like when they start rebelling and arguing with the grown-ups. I get the feeling that the marriage may not last when she gets a bit older if she starts seeing someone else. Or perhaps her older husband might start eyeing a lady his age and possibly love her because she is not some kid just like that schoolgirl. Who knows, anything goes in life.
Unlike that 14-year-old who made headlines in Malaysia as a child bride, this other 14-year-old girl from India was lucky to be spared from becoming a child bride all thanks to a tip-off from a kind grown-up, some cops, the law and common sense which intervened on her behalf on time. As long as common sense among adults is on a girl’s side, she is in for a life full of better opportunities rather than be turned into a child bride who has no choice but to part with a promising future. Those backward-thinking adults in modern day and age can try and justify that it’s all about family honour or climbing the wealth and social ladder just to justify why they allow their daughters to be child brides to men who are old enough to be their brothers, fathers and grandfathers. What they don’t realise is that they are depriving those girls their normal childhood and their future. Do they not realise that child brides are also vulnerable to becoming prey to paedophiles who are happy enough to take advantage of them behind closed doors once they are married to those men who have no ounce of common sense in them?
Anyway, what says you about this? Feel free to have your say.