Child Marriage Is an Evil That Must Be Stopped

child marriage, illegal, wrong, op-ed, world

Child marriage is an act of forceful union or an act of willingly marrying off a child. This is an evil act that must be condemned all around the world. It should not be allowed in the confines of humanity. Child marriage is barbaric and a caustic practice that brings shame to everyone who has let it fester in their domain so far.

According to Plan, a British charity agency, around 14 million girls under the age of 18 get married every year. Breaking that figure down, that’s around 269,230 girls getting married every week and 27 girls every minute. To repeat that, 27 girls get married every 60 seconds. Shame! Shame on everyone involved this diabolic act of child marriage and even a bigger shame on everyone who has ever had an opportunity to put an end to it and has looked the other way. The number of girls giving birth before the age of 15 in sub-Saharan Africa will increase by more than 1 million by 2030, according to the United Nations.

There was a debate on the floor of the Nigerian Senate a while back about passing a bill that would allow children to get married. The Senator who moved the bill, Ahmed Yerima is the same man who championed the course for the introduction of Sharia law into parts of the country. He argued that his religion does not discriminate against age as along as love was present. Whether it’s successful or not is not even the only issue, that it was brought up in the first place is a big shock. It was a tedious hearing. Tedious and painful to any sane mind. That in the year 2013, a law that would destroy young children’s lives, is up for debate is beyond belief. If there really is a hell, proponents of this evil act should go there directly.

Child Marriage Is an Evil That Must Be Stopped
Ahmed Yerima: Child Marriage Advocate

As sickening as the thought is all by itself that someone would agree to marry a child, it is not the depravity of such minds that is most unfortunate thing about child marriages, there is an anomaly called Vesicovaginal fistula (VVF). This occurs within children who are not mature enough to handle childbirth and are put in the situation of child bearing. Their pelvis regions become damaged internally and they have a case of involuntary urine passage. These sick individuals see cases of VVF and they just ignore it.

A big question to ask is that if men get arrested for child pornography, why are men allowed to marry children? How rich do they have to be to get away with it? How long should people be allowed to hide behind their culture or religion? For how long will the world not take child marriage as a serious issue? Who will speak up for these children? Who will fight for the defenseless women stuck in a position through geography or religion where they have to see their children go through this?

The world has to arise now to fix this. If the leaders won’t rise up, then the people should arise and do something and when one alone cannot fight the battle, the world and those in solidarity should speak out for change and immediate cease of action. Child marriage is an evil that must be stopped and it’s up to the world to take notice and act.

By Olajide Jatto

Sources

PLAN

The Guardian

Allafrica.com

ICRW

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