Preventing Early Marriage: A Guide for Parents and Communities
Marriage is an institution that consents the relationship of a man and a woman and binds them in a system of mutual obligations and rights essential to the functioning of a family life. It signifies the beginning of their future together. Unfortunately, thousands of girls suffer from a different marriage experience every year. Usually these girls become mothers in their early teens while they are still children themselves. As these teen mums are put into domestic responsibility, handling motherhood and impulsively engaging in sexual relations, it spells an end to their education, childhood and key economic prospects. How can we stop this common practice and make better life choices for our young girls? Every parent at large is responsible for a child’s life and bringing the best out of them. In early marriage essay there are below actions we need to take as a society to stop child marriage.
Challenge culture and social norms
People make culture; culture does not make people. Tapping at the root of the problem is always the best way to solve it. Marriage being an institution created by the society to ensure its blood line continuation, it shouldn’t be a factor in ruining a girl’s childhood. Educating the society through information campaigns, public addresses on gender equality and effects of child marriage will trigger a powerful change and society will do away with the traditional dogmas of girls.
Most communities in Kenya benefit from marring their girls early to acquire bride price and have one less mouth to feed in the family. Ways that improve the economic security of poor households can assist in decreasing childhood marriages. By promoting sustainable agricultural practices, food will no longer be a problem to poor households therefore no need to marry off their daughters at an early age. By introducing programs in poverty afflicted areas to provide expertise and employment, girls and other members of the society will be in a position to contribute to growth and development hence an economic liberation to the struggling families as the girls can be seen adding value.
Provide access to quality education
Education should be a priority for each child despite of their gender. Education equips girls with skills and knowledge to build supportive networks as well as advocate for themselves a better future. Reinforcing school curriculum and making lessons relatable to girl’s lives boosts them into realizing they are of more value. Motivations such as free uniforms, scholarships and support ensure girls remain in school to acquire the necessary skills.
Mentoring young girls to gain self-confidence, equipping them skills about finances, their reproduction and health matters lessen the social and economic segregation many girls encounter in the country. Family planning education can curb early pregnancies that lead to early marriage. Through liberation, girls can make healthier decisions, and aspire to greater ambitions.
Enforcing laws and policies
According to 2014 marriage act of Kenya, the minimum age for marriage 18 years. Section 14 of the children’s ACT protects a child from harmful cultural rites that include, female circumcision, early marriage and other cultural rites or traditional practices that are likely to negatively affect a child’s life, health, social welfare and physiological development. The law only is not enough therefore execution and education of leaders and members help better implement, prevailing initiatives around girl’s rights.
By terminating child marriage, women will feel safer, empowered and valued. They will have the freedom to decide if they should marry, when and whom they can marry.