Child marriage is a violation of human rights. It is a global issue as it has been destroying the lives and future of many children. Due to the devastating impact of early marriage on the lives of children, it has been strictly forbidden by the law. According to UNICEF: ‘child marriage is a form of violence against children.’
Even though child marriages are common in both the genders, girls contribute to the vast majority and they are affected adversely. Early marriage is an outright denial of basic rights. It refuses girls the right to make important decisions related to their life, health and well-being. This makes them more vulnerable to mental, emotional, physical and sexual abuse. Child brides suffer various difficulties and they have long lasting consequences. Young married girls are not physically mature enough for sexual intercourse or child birth. They are more prone to pregnancy related problems that can lead to lifelong complications. These complications are a leading cause of death in young mothers. Not only do the young mothers suffer but it is also life threatening for the offspring. Young brides are also more likely to suffer from sexually transmitted infections like HIV. Child marriage forces girls out of education. Education is crucial for girls to make informed decisions related to their sexual health and welfare. By snatching away their rights to develop themselves and to learn and understand their capabilities and potentials we are just creating individuals that will always be dependent on others for everything. We are disempowering these girls and by doing so we are hindering the progress of our future. With every young girl being married off early and being compelled to leave education, we all suffer. We lose a potential future doctor, engineer, teacher, business woman, politician or a leader.
The price each one of us has to pay for every child bride is enormous. As it is said, ‘if you educate a man, you educate an individual. But if you educate a woman, you educate a nation.’ The education of the whole nation is at stake. Therefore, ending child marriage is essential for the prosperity and stability of our country.