Time and again, it makes me wonder if child marriages are encouraged in those so-called ‘cultured’ societies in this modern world, do those girls’ parents ever stop for a moment to wonder what kinds of harm are they subjecting them to. If you say that child brides experience the loss of normal childhoods and their societies’ loss of potential contributing members of the future, you are absolutely right. However, it is more than lost childhoods and missing skilled and educated women of the future. What it will be mentioned in this blog will leave you, me and everyone else understand the deeper dark side of child marriages:
1.) Child marriages negatively impact on girls’ education.
They always say that education empowers girls as individuals and encourages them to have greater opportunities in their lives, throughout and after childhood. As long as child marriage sticks its ugly nose (and butt) in society, it ruins a golden opportunity for any female child who could have had a better quality of life rather than be forced to give up schooling and become someone’s child bride. A female child is better off being a future doctor, lawyer, mathematician or a member of a parliament rather than be someone’s child bride who has to stay home all day, slave in the kitchen, serve her (ungrateful and controlling) husband and the in-laws, and have kids too young too soon.
2.) Child marriages leave girls vulnerable to abuse (Trust me, it is not romantic at all!)
Child marriages is not and will never be about family honour and love. It is nothing but all about abuse against child brides. Once a female child is married off, she is likely to face domestic abuse from her husband, her in-laws and her own relatives. The worse part of all is being subjected to physical, mental and sexual abuse daily just like what happened to this kid in Yemen. The idea of a child spending her honeymoon with someone old enough to be her big brother, her father or her grandpa is downright creepy. There is nothing romantic about it either and it is nothing but sexual violation of a child. In some cases, some of those poor girls just end up dead post-wedding/honeymoon like what was featured in the Daily Mail last year.
3.) Child marriages negatively affect girls’ health
Imagine a child being married at age 10 or 11, by 12 or 13 she is pregnant and before she hits her 20th or 21st birthday, her body is already ruined from repeated pregnancies. Or if she is unlucky, she will never get a chance to hear one post-labour congratulatory message all because becoming a mother before she is 18 and her barely mature body make maternal mortality and infant mortality rates greater than for those who delay motherhood. Take this news report on a 12-year-old child who died while giving birth (and this is no joke). A fate as ‘terrible’ as death if the girl is fortunate to survive and end up living with an obstetric fistula. Obstetric fistula not just results in health problems but also loss of self-esteem, isolation and abandonment.
4.) Child marriages increase the risk of contracting HIV and AIDS
When an underaged girl is married to an older man with more sexual experience, she has a greater risk of contracting HIV and AIDS.
5.) Child marriages control girls into submission
Some cultures believe that marrying a female child off aims to protect the girl’s virginity and her family’ ‘honour’. This is not about protecting some ‘honour’ here, child marriages in reality is about robbing a girl of her rights, her dignity and her individuality by controlling her into submission.
6.) Child marriages open a door of opportunity for paedophiles.
There are some people who can justify that child marriages is all about love when it does not take a maths equation to tell us that child marriages open doors for paedophiles waiting for the opportunity to fulfill their sick fantasies of robbing a child of her innocence on a ‘wedding’ night. ECPAT International also defines child marriages as sexual exploitation of a child and the proof is in their online article. Therefore, there is a great need to make child marriages illegal to keep paedophiles off those children. In fact, someone wrote on Malaysian Mirror around December 2010 and expressed her opinions against child marriages online. If child marriages are made legal, I think someone must be crazy and stupid enough to also legalise paedophilia as well.
That is all, folks. You may agree or disagree with me on what I wrote but what says you about this? If you have more to add in regards to this blog article, feel free to do so.