When hearing the word marriage

When hearing the word marriage, the first thought that comes to mind is a beautiful, exciting journey, the start of a new chapter of life with a lifelong partner. It is thought of as the union of hearts and souls, enhanced by whatever forms of sexual intimacy both partners agree on. However, that is exactly the opposite of what many young girls living in some developing counties feel when they hear the word marriage. Child marriage. An ongoing tradition that exist for many generations in the developing word. In many countries it is not out of the norm or considered wrong for girls to be married off at a young age. In fact, in many developing countries where child marriage is practiced young girls are not valued as much as boys and are therefore seen as a financial burden to their family thus resulting in many innocent girls being married off as children. More than half of girls from low income and poor families in the developing world are married off as young children. But why does this happen? Well, when families living in poverty face hardship, they may see child marriage as a coping mechanism in the face of poverty. Thus, to marry a daughter off allows the parents or legal guardian of that young girl to reduce family expenses by ensuring they have one less person to feed, clothe and educate. Families may also values boys more than girls therefor feel that investing in their son’s education is a more worthwhile investment. In some cases, to marry off a daughter is a way to repay debts, manage disputes, or settle social, economic and political alliances. However, child marriage is a human rights violation that prevents young girls from an education, it leads to early pregnancies, and puts young girls at risk of sexual transmitted diseases. Child marriage is also rooted in gender inequality and it robs young girls from their rightful childhood! It bears lifelong and intergenerational health, economic and social consequences!