Child bride: problem of early marriage
She was not sure about what was happening, she thought it was one of the games she used to play with her friends where she married her doll to that of her friend’s. She did not know that very soon the place of the toys will be taken over by responsibilities. She didn’t know that soon she would be taken away from her family.All over the world the problem of early marriage is prevalent. It has been noticed that there are more than 45 countries that are facing with the child bride problems. The girls are forced to get married at a very early age. This happen mostly in countries like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Middle East. The girls who are not educated are forced to marry at a very early age. They are not even supported by their families. Girls in such countries are considered as a liability as their parents have to give dowry to the groom’s family and thus they prefer that they do not have a girl child in their house. The legal age of marriage in countries like India and Bangladesh is 18 but these girls are forced to marry at the age of eleven or even seven at times.This generally happens in the rural areas of these countries where people discriminate between a boy and a girl. Boys are often given much more preference than the girls. The girls are not allowed to step out of their homes unless and until they are to go to the fields to work or they are married. They are deprived of the education and are made to do the household chores at an age when they should be playing and dancing. In India child marriages are illegal yet people break these laws and are still practicing the old traditions. In Afghanistan, it is estimated that about eighty to ninety percent marriages are forced. It will be very hard to believe that even in developed countries like England and United States of America the problem of child brides is being noticed. There are certain illegal marriages that take place in such countries.In India, people who are poor either kill the girl child at the time of birth or get her married at a very early age as they consider the girls as a burden. Child bride is a practice that steals away the childhood from them along with their rights and dignity. In India the people who initiate child marriages are entitled to a punishment of about two years of prison and a penalty of £1300. However it has been noticed that none of this has affected the thinking of the people. They have merrily danced and enjoyed the food at the wedding which robs the rights of the girls. The only problem is that such practices hold full support from the society and the community. There is no one who has raised voice against it and that is why people still have the courage to get their daughters married at such a young age. To top all of this, these little girls are married to men who are much elder than them. These girls have not reached their puberty and they are innocent without having knowledge about anything. If a thought is given upon the condition of the child bride then it is really heart wrenching.
Rukmani, a resident in the northern district of Rajasthan, India said that she was married when she was at the age of six and she was lucky that she was send to live with her husband when she attained the age of fifteen. She regrets getting married so early because now she feels helpless as, if she would not have been married so early she could have utilized that time to learn how to read and write. Another child bride Mamta also regrets getting married so early because she missed her opportunity of being independent. She is unhappy with her married life because her husband is a drunkard and he beats her every day.A recent study done by the International Center for Research on Women, it was noted that the girls who were married at an age before 18 were beaten and threatened more as compared to those who got married after the age of 18. Often the child brides are reported saying that after they get married all that they do is mop the floor, wash the dishes and the clothes and cook food. They are not allowed to play with their dolls now. This is really hard and a sad truth about our society of which we are a part. One should raise his/her voice against only then this problem can be demolished from the world. This global custom that devastates the girl child should be stopped because it is against the laws and is inhuman. UNICEF is against any kind of forced marriage at any age. Marriages should be done only when the bride and the groom give their consent.
People should come together and fight against this global problem so that everyone is treated equally all over the world and there are no more silent sobs and whispers.
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