Marriage should be a couples dream ,not a nightmare . It is based on a decision you entirely took with an individual you love , or at least that is how it supposed to be . Love should be the main and only reason of the union of two people who share a real passion and driven by their emotions . That marriage , should be based on a free will .
Friedrich Nietzsche said that: It is not a lack of love , but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages . So what if that marriage is forced on young, innocent souls who do not even know the notion of life and how to cope with it ? These marriages take place for several , and irrational reasons that can drive a person to be in a really insane status and feel demented. So what are the reasons that lead us to an underage marriage and what are the problems resulting from this horrible , atrocious crime ? In these days , Underage marriage has been manifesting specially in Pakistan and India in very high rates .
In this essay , I am going to present the reasons and the effects of Underage Marriage on young children from several perspectives that include : ethical, social , physical , psychological and talk about the mental health of young and powerless children that are being traumatized by that criminal act .
In order to get profited socially , physically and to decrease financial encumbrances , many families in Pakistan and India , are endorsing the marriage of their young innocent children ( for both : boys and girls ).
Family honor ; some families think that they save their family honor by marrying their young girls, while still getting their education at a very early , young age . Some of the cultures , where in Pakistan and India believe that if a girl lost her virginity before marriage , in other words engaging in sexual relationships is banned in their culture and demands for serious actions where the young terrified girl should instantly be protected and covered from the shame that she caused by spoiling her familys reputation and honor by marrying the man that she slept with or might even be the man that raped her just to make her parents feel proud and not shameful (Tanzeem 2015) ! In their beliefs ( India and Pakistan ) , by marrying a girl while she stills at a very young age assure to the parents that their girl maintain her virginity , so that she could protect her familys honor and never put it at risk of getting damaged . In the following , the story of a fourteen years old girl , named Raeena who lives in Pakistan that demonstrates that a familys honor is more linked to girls than boys :I was worried about my honor she said . Due to her mother and father pressure to marry her off early , Raeena , who is fourteen years old not to forget felt that she is useless and shameful for not getting married at this age , so she got the urge to be with a husband who is twenty-one years old , so that she could feel peaceful and proud and not forget the main process here, and that is making her parents proud of her achievement ; which is to be a young housewife and leave her education and pursuing her dreams for it to happen (Tanzeem 2015) . As mentioned before , child marriage is common for both sexes : males and females ; a recent study by the child advocacy group plan International claims that females in Pakistan marry at a significantly younger age than males , and that is due to their sexual maturation that it occurs before at females ( at the age of twelve or thirteen ) where boys hit puberty at a later stage ( fourteen to fifteen ) ; where the number of percentage create a fear for social activists : 60 to 70 percent is recorded for girls in rural areas (Tanzeem 2015) . The main explanation behind this significant increasing number is due to a huge lack of awareness that such parents have and it sadly attacks their poor , unlucky children and in this case young , powerless girls more than guys(Tanzeem 2015) . Can only Family Honor , be the reason of such a crime or more underlying , meaningful causes could come across Underage marriage?
Poverty and lack of monetary liquidity , is considered one of the most corporate motives for young children getting married at a very fledgling age . On “Girls not Brides” , reported a study by UNICEF , over the last decade India has witnessed an increased rate of marriage for girls between ages 15 to 18 (Child Marriage Act 2006). India has the highest number of child brides in the world , where it is estimated that 27% of girls in India are married before their 18th birthday , where it goes up to 69% in Bihar ( girls not brides). The main factor that causes this very specific high number and make India ranking from the highest country in child marriages is POVERTY . For Indian parents , they see their girls as an economical burden and they feel that they are not able to handle it anymore . At first , they forbid their girls on continuing their education and they start training them to graduate as the housewives their husband expects them to be . Their parents do not see in them a potential to continue their education , they only look at them as a source for money income , and so they can be able to eat until their full ! However , taking the right of these poor girls to continue their education , and controlling them and limiting in their bubble of fear and rural area , increase the vulnerability and depression that may lead to very stressful and worrying results on their psychological , physical and mental and social health .
(Anonymous Midwives London 2017) reported that :”Doctors have warned against girls
marrying and having babies under the age of 18 because they are still developing physically
and mentally, and may not be in a position to make informed decisions about their health”.
Girls, at this particular very young age they are not emotionally neither physically ready to be engaged in a sexual relationship or in a lifetime commitment . It is for sure very dangerous for a body during development to get shocked and stimulated by a severe sexual intercourse and specifically when the girls body is against it . Plus getting a girl pregnant and forcing her to deliver a baby to while she might still be one , face her to very high risks . Not to forget , HIV/AIDS and suffering domestic violence (girls not brides ) .
Getting isolated from social groups , friends and family to start creating a new one of your own can be pretty scary and may result in damaging the social identity of the young terrified children . At this age , girls should not , at all, be present at house training the perfection of house chores and pleasing their husbands with the best cook , the best food , the best house and the best kids . If they are still discovering theirselves , is it normal to discover and raise a child ? I personally think that they might face the newborn at a very high risk .
Minakshi Manchanda (Indian doctor), a consultant psychiatrist at the Asian Institute of
Medical Sciences, said the young women frequently felt exploited. ‘As minors, they are not
prepared for sex and pregnancy, or even for household responsibilities. This often leads to
depression,’ she said .She added that despite antidepressants and counselling, women can
continue to suffer throughout their lives.( Anonymous. HYPERLINK ” o “Click to search for more items from this journal” Midwives; London 2017 ) . This depression, often leads to a high rate of suicide where girls see it as the only way to get out of the horrible nightmare that they got stuck in it . Can we live with ourselves knowing that by sitting and doing nothing we are burning the souls and the amibition of millions and millions of girls ?
Human Rights attorney Zia Ahmed Awan said that “the underage marriages and forced conversions are blemish on the face of our society and all stakeholders including government need to take serious steps to end the menace, adding this sensitive issue mostly affects children and young people, it is also a grave violation of rights”. (Pakistan Press International; Karachi 17 Jan 2017) . He also held a press conference with the parents of victim . And he emphasized that , if we want a change we should start seeking it and work hard for it , and most importantly is to start with campaigns and activities throughout which we are able to raise awareness for both parties : the parents and the victim .
To conclude , we ought to trespass geographical frontiers and look beyond our set of boundaries to a world that is the most critical need of help , guidance and actions .It is about time to put an end to child marriage , and give every girl around the globe her right , that she shares with every child to enjoy her childhood whilst having a decent education or even doing whatever she finds the most satisfying for her own good . Girls not brides . Education not marriage . It is our duty to protect our children by the laws and the constitution which prohibits the law of the jungle of taking over in our societies .
Action demanded against forced conversions, underage marriages. (2017, Jan 17). Pakistan Press International
Pakistan: Study: Underage marriage higher for females than males in pakistan. (2015, Nov 23). Asia News Monitor
Underage sex and marriage puts girls at risk, say doctors. (2017). Midwives, 20, 14.