Following major world conferences and engagements, the strategy of keeping girls in school as the solution to ending the girl-child marriage in the world seems very apt.
Statistics show that each day, 41,000 girls marry before they reach the age of 18 (equivalent to 15 million girls every year).
Child marriage no doubt has a dangerous effect on the girl-child, her children, her family, and her society.
For the girl-child, she is the most affected; she grows up being unable to make choices and decisions of her own, this cripples her mentality and disables her imagination. The child is unable to see beyond her boundaries and constantly lives in fear. Her freedom, which is supposed to be her expectation, becomes her greatest fear especially when she considers its consequences.
Although the tradition of child marriage affects both boys and girls, in most places around the world, the practice mostly affects girls. The damages of child marriage to girls and womanhood in this generation can be cured by sound and quality education.
Education gives them the advantage of safety and security, health, and a picture of a better future. This way the child is able to think proper and be confident in herself.
Many young girls get married at a very young age under the influence of the early marriage tradition. At the time when they got married they know very little or nothing about marriage, they encounter a lot of problems trying to cope with the system of marriage. Many of them married total strangers and have to live all their lives without experiencing the appropriate norms of love or likeness with whom they were married to.
As a result to that, the normal way of thinking becomes reversed, mothers who were married in the same way do nothing but prepare their young girls for marriage. Fathers give out their little girls for marriage because they have grown to understand that it is the right thing to do. This is a pointer to the fact that knowledge is missing.
We believe that knowledge is power because it defeats ignorance and gives insight.
What the Male-Child Should Know
Little boys must be taught to frown at early child marriage both for themselves and the girls. Education should be used as the tool to help the child understand the dangers of the practice to an individual and the society at large.
The government should collaborate with youth groups and community leaders for capacity building initiatives among the children, this is very vital to depositing confident and self-reliance.
We fondly say that “children are leaders of tomorrow” if we must think that way we have to act in the same light.
Helping the little child see beyond his background, tradition, environment, culture and immediate, should be the major goal of every government. This can be done by directing their focus to civilization with the use of digitalization and programmes that directly benefit their peers.
Young men must be equipped with the right knowledge to become agents of change in their society. This requires the collaboration and assistance of local and international investment on young minds so they can see through the mirror of knowledge the wrongs caused by ignorance.
If these young minds are empowered answers will emerge.
Child not Bride
The girl-child – she is at the center of the practice and is the most important person because she completes it. She also raises more concerns because she is the most affected. She is too young to become a bride, too naïve to understand what it entails. Her body suffers because it is not ready, her soul has been wrongly informed and her spirit has been deceived and cheated.
Fighting for quality education for the girl-child means saving the world from gloom. Educating a girl-child means literacy for an unborn generation.
If she is empowered with the knowledge required to grow, she will be able to make her decisions no matter the threats posed. She will seek for a means to freedom rather than shy away from it because of fear. Gaining knowledge helps her to be bold and stand for her right.
Knowledge helps her to be aware of the dangers that are attached to early marriage and the benefits of education. Knowledge is what the girl-child needs to be free, therefore let the world take up the responsibility to provide all girls with quality education and avert the negative impacts of child marriage.