Early Marriage: A Barrier to Girls' Dreams and Education

Early Marriage: A Barrier to Girls' Dreams and Education

Customs, traditions, cultures, and reactionary ideas have killed the dreams of many girls throughout the ages in many countries. Some believe that only success for women is marriage. Therefore, many women got married at a very young age, an age that did not fit the great responsibilities of marriage and raising children. It was possible to see a child who did not exceed the legal age for marriage raising another newborn girl, but this phenomenon has many reasons:

Ignorance and limited education

We can say that ignorance is one of the biggest reasons for early marriage. The ignorance of the parents, their lack of education, and their limited thinking led to marrying an immature girl, believing that they would guarantee her a good future and lead her to safety. On the other hand, the girl's deprivation of education due the scarcity of educational opportunities may lead the girl to staying in her home and thus tending to early marriage.

Social customs and traditions

There are many customs and traditions that tend to marry a girl at a young age, in the belief that they will preserve her behavior and guarantee her a safe and stable future. Many societies consider that if a girl exceeds the age of puberty, then she becomes eligible for marriage.

Low standard of living

Social research and statistics say that nearly 40% of girls who get married at an early age are from the poorest families in the world because families who suffer from poverty see early marriage for girls as an appropriate way to improve their economic situation.

Some people believe that marrying off a girl from the family reduces the number of family members, so it will make it easier for the head of the family to support the rest of its members. They also consider the paid dowry an opportunity to secure the needs of the family and cover the accumulated debts. In some countries where the marriage dowry is borne by the wife's family, her family tends to marry her early in order to pay less money if the bride is young and uneducated.

Early marriage outcomes

Early marriage has negative consequences and effects not only on the family, but also on society as a whole. Among these results:

The spread of ignorance

A girl may stop completing her education because of her family’s marriage to her; thus, the percentage of ignorance increases around the world. Because of early marriage, a girl finds it difficult to complete education or employment. For example in Malawi about two-thirds of women who did not receive education married early, and only 5% of them were able to enroll at the secondary or higher education level.

Pregnancy before maturity

Pregnancy before the age of puberty is considered one of the most important negative consequences of early marriage. Therefore, the death rate of girls during childbirth increases due to their physical inability to give birth at a young age, while the death rate of children and newborns also increases due to the inability of young mothers to take care of their children, in addition to the mistakes that mothers may make while raising their children due to their incompetence and lack of awareness.

Fighting early marriage

We must stand against this phenomenon by raising awareness on television or on the Internet about the harms of early marriage, and trying to change those reactionary ideas, customs, and traditions that believe that the girl’s husband is the only security for her and knowing that the girl’s safety lies in her education in order to be a conscious mother and wife. Thus, she will be able to take the responsibility of the home and manage the family’s life with awareness and maturity.