I’ll like to start with the title of E. O Oke’s discuss on child marriage, “CHILD MARRIAGE, IS SEXUAL ABUSE OF CHILDREN.
There is nothing new under the sun, things are only refined and presented as new to a new generation while in the real sense it’s just a reinvention.
The issue of child marriage is a matter for serious discuss. Let’s travel down memory lane for a while. Centuries before the computer, ICT and jet age, young girls are always given to marriage immediately they become a ‘woman.’ Then, a woman is defined when a she starts menstruating. But when the fight for girl child education began, a ‘woman’ is no longer defined by ‘her monthly celebration’ but on the basis of maturity both physically, emotionally, biologically and even education wise. Although, in the past, it wasn’t seen as ‘child marriage’ but an age-old practice that should continue and that was because of the value placed on females- ‘baby-making factories’, ‘pleasure tools’, ‘home keepers’, and whatever adjectives you may think of.
Nonetheless, I intend to make this write-up open-ended because of this I’ll present my opinion both in form of questions and realistic facts.
To start with, humans differ in many ways even when it comes to sex linked hormone development such that some become sexually active and matured before others in their age range. Now for a girl child in this case,-let’s define the girl child marriage as a girl married before reaching teenage years.- who is attaining physical maturity and because of this she begins to get attention from the opposite sex- the woos, head turns, my wife my wife calls and all that- should it then be reasonable to give her away to a man who has interest in marrying her?
Also, in some African countries where poverty rate is high, some fathers see their female children as means of getting out of debt, a means to acquire more and as a way of settling quarrels and establising family ties at the expense of the girl. In such situations, should the girl be the sacrificial lamb to help change the financial status of the family?
I read a story on Aljazeera about a girl who was sold to her husband in exchange for 12 cows and was beaten by her father because she refused to resume to her husband’s house who had already purchased her. She was later kidnapped by her husband with the consent of her father, beaten and raped every night for 11 months, impregnated and became a mother of a baby boy and to end it all, she became a widow and had to return to her fathers’ house- all these happened before she became a teenager.
How about those who got married and in the process of child bearing had Vesicovaginal fistula (VVF)?
What do we also say and advise those who willing followed the opposite sex and thereby put in the family way?
My opinion is that we cannot judge a persons’ decision and choice with another person because everyone’s different and so in whatever is anybodys’ decision, let it be done reasonably and with choice not force.
What’s your take on this matter? Kindly drop your comments. Thanks.