Child marriage is a global or world issue. It is fuelled by gender inequality, poverty, social norms and insecurity, and has devastating consequences all over the world. Here, you can discover more about the extent and impacts of child marriage and the progress we have made towards ending it. We have to consider on it to stop it because it is big issue not for India but also outside India.
Child marriage is a complex and worst issue. It is rooted in gender inequality and the belief that girls and women are inferior to boys and men. It is made worse by poverty, lack of education, harmful social norms and practices, and insecurity. Its drivers vary between communities & religion and it looks different across and within regions and countries.
There are many ways through which child marriage increasing in different regions and countries. These are as follows :-
Gender inequality means that women and girls are treated as second-class citizens, denied their human rights and valued less because of their sex. Child marriage is one expression of this gender inequality. Patriarchal systems that is, systems that are controlled by men that value girls according to their virginity lead to limits on female sexuality and reproductive choices. This can mean controlling how a girl behaves and dresses, where she goes, who she sees, and if, who and when she marries. It can also criminalise her sexuality and block her access to care and information. In many places, girls who have relationships or become pregnant outside of marriage are shamed for bringing dishonour on their family, or even stopped from going to school. In such circumstances, parents may see early marriage as a way to protect their daughters and their families. Girls may agree, and wish to gain status as a wife and mother.
SOCIAL NORMS AND PRACTICES
Social norms are informal rules of behaviour in a group. People follow them to show they are members of the group, because of social pressure or coercion by power holders, or because it’s what they’ve always done. Social norms are often gendered and aim to control women and girls’ sexuality, and maintain longstanding practices. Child marriage is one such practice. In many places, it has happened for generations and has become normal and accepted. In some contexts, a girl becomes a woman when she starts to menstruate. Marriage may be the next step towards her gaining status as a wife and mother.
When experiencing acute poverty, families and sometimes girls themselves see marriage as a way to reduce family costs and gain financial security. This idea is reinforced by patriarchal norms that devalue and commodify girls. Because girls have less access to education and low social, political and economic status, they are often economically dependent on men. They may see marriage as their only option.
Girls are most affected by poverty-driven child marriage because:
1.) They lack access to education and welfare and protection safety nets.
2.) They have less time to study and earn because they have to do more childcare and household chores than boys.
3.) Families with few resources are more likely to invest in their sons’ education.
4.) They can’t trade, own assets or do some jobs because they aren’t allowed to move freely.
5.) They can’t access fair employment because of workplace harassment and biased recruitment policies.
6.) Their marriage may be used to repay debts, manage disputes, or settle social, economic and political alliances.
7.) A dowry or “bride price” may provide a welcome income for a girl’s family in times of economic hardship.
8.) If the girl’s family has to pay a dowry, the amount may be less if she is young and uneducated.
Crises caused by conflict, generalised violence, natural hazards including climate change and disease outbreak hunger and poverty worsen the factors that drive child marriage. This is because:
1.) Families see child marriage as a way to cope with growing economic hardship.
2.) Parents marry their daughters because they think it will protect them from increased or generalised violence, including sexual violence.
3.) Displacement breaks down social networks and protection systems, making girls more vulnerable to child marriage.
4.) Girls may marry or enter informal unions with older men who promise to reunite them with family members who have already migrated or been displaced.
5.) Child marriage is used as a weapon of war and to hide human trafficking and sexual abuse.
6.) Access to education is reduced, and schools and children may be targeted or recruited by armed actors. This puts girls at increased risk of exploitation and abuse, including slavery and child marriage.
From above it is concluded that child marriage play a great role in our daily life. Girls/ female are taking as inferior than boys/male. Above are the points which are considered in the matter of child marriage. Girls are not bride.
I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.
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