There are numerous problems a couple can face when marriage happens at an early age for them. Early marriage which is also referred to as child marriage is common all over the globe and has inflicted dangerous and devastating effects on young children who are compelled to tie the knot in most cases.
Child marriage is also indicative of the levels of development of a region or country and is generally conducted between very young girls and older men. In many parts of the world child marriage is a gratification for overcoming the familyâ€™s financial and social needs.
Causes of early marriage:
Early marriage can arise due to a number of reasons such as these:
- To raise the economic and social status
- Religious hurdles and barriers
- Gender bias promotes early marriage of girls
- Lack of education
- Myths and misconceptions about early marriage
- Pressures from older members of the family and community
- The notion that early pregnancy leads to larger families and hence providing for heirs to the throne
- Some communities regard their girl children as a burden and think of getting rid of them by marrying them off early in a patriarchal society
Harmful effects of early marriage:
Early marriage can cause severe problems like the following:
- Psychological and emotional stress like forced sexual relations, denial of freedom and personal development as household chores now become a priority.
- Denial of personal development and education.
- Maturity levels become an issue as the little girl is now expected to play the role of a mother.
- Girl children undergo severe health problems like pregnancy and childbirth.
- Girl brides are also involved in early childhood care.
- Threat to contracting sexually transmitted diseases increases when girl children are exposed to such an environment.
- As girl children are still vulnerable and submissive, they can be subject to the atrocities of domestic violence and abandonment.
- Mental and emotional stress in girl brides is high because they are not old enough to cope with maternal, marital or in law issues.
Though the respective Governments and society is doing much to abolish early or child marriage through campaigns, laws, policies and individual support of people, it is still a far reaching dream for young girls who are still repeatedly forced into such liaisons.
Early marriages have stretched far and wide through time and countries and finally reached America as well where children in their mid-teens are taking independent steps of tying the knot with their partners. Most early marriages are considered to be forced which is true but children entering into an early marriage out of choice should also be warned of various personal and health issues that can complicate their lives forever.