The plight of the child bride

Suzan
Posted July 16, 2019 from Nigeria

So I saw this headline "Mozambique approves law to combat early marriages" through this link, https://globeafrique.com › Lifestyle and I was ecstatic. This is a new beginning for a young girl out there in Mozambique whose faith was probably to be carted away into some old man's house to just become a mother to child somewhere. This can be the changing story for most young girls in African rural communities who have been made to believe all they can be good for is tending to the home and having children. Just think of the amount of changes that could be made if most countries could protect the girl child from such deviation. Come to think of it, how can a child raise a child? What can she offer? This is a cause we must fight against and it starts today.

For someone who was born and raised in a rural community, I can share with you the tales of the young bride who knew only one faith. That one day once she had reached puberty with little or no curves still try to protrude and she starts to see flows of blood for which she has no full know to care for, she should be expected to get ready for the next stage of her life; Marriage. This child lives with the ideology that her parents have made the best choice for her and so she soars into the home of a man who has children her age and she becomes a stepmother to her own age group. Imagine that! She is introduced to all kinds of activities in the home and before you know it she soon forgets her childhood and embraces motherhood. She is nurtured into having sexual activities without being educated or even tenderly introduced to it "even though she is underage". She is manhandled because after all, she is a child bride, a servant, she doesn't need to enjoy sex but to submit to her husband's demands at anytime, “even if it hurts". When she gets diseased with illnesses like Vesicovaginal fistula (VVF) or STDs, she is quickly replaced with another child. This isn't just sad but vicious.

I was a witness to many girls who had their dreams of becoming doctors, nurses, lawyers, Engineers... shattered because they were from poor backgrounds and all their parents saw for them was a future where they would have lots of children, serve their husbands and maintain a home. Not that this was a bad wish, but for a child with so much to look forward to in life. It was a way of saying a girl has no place in the evolving world because after all, it’s a man’s world.

But not today because the world has changed and like me, I believe we have people and organizations that are ready to champion this cause where we will fight for the right of every girl child in the world. Every girl who has been suppressed into thinking she is not good enough and has nothing to offer. Today we must stand by her to show the world that the future of any nation lies strongly in ensuring than more than half of the female population especially those coming from very poor homes are catered for. They are not forced, manhandled or treated as second class citizens but they are loved, protected and encouraged to be the best of what they can be. They must come forward, believe in themselves and never settle for less. Their backgrounds cannot be a limitation only a story for future generations. This is what Organizations must fight to ensure and this is what the sustainable development goals must stamp on for every young girl in the future.

 

Comments 10

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Jill Langhus
Jul 16
Jul 16

Hi Suzan,

Hear, hear:-) Too true. Thanks for your powerful words and story. I can't agree enough. Girls do have a voice, and they are SO worthy.

I hope you're doing well, and having a great day and week, dear!

Please keep being outspoken. Be the change...:-)

Suzan
Jul 16
Jul 16

Thank you so much. I am just one person but I won't pushing till I can rally all the voices for the cause. Thanks for the support.

Jill Langhus
Jul 17
Jul 17

You're welcome:-) Yes, but your voice matters, and your are creative a wave of solidarity behind you:-)

Shine on!

XX

Hello, Suzan,

Yes! This is great news! May all girls in Mozambique do their happy dance. The law can protect them now (I hope). But then again, there’s you, and your voice is powerful. Keep raising it up until the tale of a child bride is no more.

Thank you for sharing!

Lisbeth
Jul 18
Jul 18

How are you doing? Hope you are doing very fine? Hmm thanks for sharing in this very neglected but sensitive topic.
All you said is very true and our country also related to it. I am very glad that now these girls voices will be heard.
I look forward to hearing more from you. Thanks for standing up for these girls.

Tamarack Verrall
Jul 19
Jul 19

Dear Suzan,
Your strong voice on this huge injustice to women and girls, is so important. What good news that Mozambique has passed a law to combat early marriages. Every precedent gives strength to more countries doing the same. The time is long overdue that women and girls provide so much unpaid labour, and in circumstances in which freedom seems impossible. It is because of strong women's voices like yours that governments pay attention. It is because of the work you are doing that women and girls will gain confidence in their own rights to freedom. It is because of women like you speaking out that when I hear "some things will never change" I can say, I know women who are creating change where it was called impossible.
In sisterhood,
Tam

Beth Lacey
Jul 24
Jul 24

There are so many tragic stories like this around the world. You are right. It must stop

Suzan
Jul 26
Jul 26

Thank you so much.

chimdirimebere
Sep 02
Sep 02

Hi Suzan,
Thanks for your story. I believe so much that education will make a whole lot of difference in the lives our girls. The benefits of educating girls can never be overemphasized. It can be encapsulated in the following, like Shannon Hodge puts it:
1. Preventing child marriage and early pregnancy
2. Preventing female genital mutilation
3. Building more stable communities
4. Tackling climate change
5. Strengthens economies and advances the fight to end poverty
6. Better health, longer lives
"We can gain peace, grow economies, improve our public health and the air that we breathe. Or we can lose another generation of girls.” — Education activist Malala Yousafzai, speech to Canadian Parliament, 2017.
We can all each take a girl and train her to change the world.

Harriet Chimdirimebere

Anita Shrestha
Sep 17
Sep 17

Hi Suzan
Thank you very much for sharing