Curse of early marriage
From birth to death a human being arrives at different stages of life. He/she reaches in old age surpassing his/her childhood, boyhood and youth. Enjoying these stages properly, he/she tastes pleasant moments of his/her life. Because of social and family relationship a person is known to various names as husband-wife, father-mother, brother-sister, uncle-aunt, son-daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in law, mother-in-law etc. Due to these relationships his/her duty and responsibility are of different. The importance of these duties and responsibilities in the context of society and family is immense. Parents have to be careful about their newborn baby and until the certain age. At the same time we have to aware of the children's rights so that none can undermine it. With increasing age, his/her duties and responsibilities towards society and family are to be increased gradually. So, we must take care of a person to have been given the responsibility in the social and family life at the right time. Otherwise, its liability has come to everyone's shoulders. The normal peace and discipline of society and family life is interrupted.
Marriage is one of the most important relationships of the society. The significance of this social relationship in the personal life is immense. Marriage brings happiness and prosperity to the life by enchaining the rein less life. In that case this marriage must be at certain time. Under the law of Bangladesh, the age of marriage is 18 years for the girl and 21 years for the boys. That is to say early marriage or child marriage is defined as the marriage or union between two people in which one or both parties are younger than 18 or 21 years of age. It can be happened formal or informal way. Early marriage is a violation of children's human rights. It denies girls their right to make vital decisions about their sexual health and well-being. In marital life responsibilities of a person increase as well as he/she has to lead following the social rules. We must be aware of this responsibility so that it doesn't come on one's shoulder untimely. If it comes untimely then that marriage will be curse not to be blessing in the life.
What compels a family to marry off a child before the attainment of the legal marriageable age? Why can't they just wait a few years for their child? Analyzing the causes of child marriage we find out many reasons behind it as the main reasons are poverty, illiteracy, fear of being single, anxiety about suitable matches, religious dogmas, dowry customs, customs and traditions, social pressure, pressure of society and relatives, region-based rituals, unemployment, ignorance, Control over sexuality, insecurity, lack of awareness of adverse health consequences, lack of awareness of the law related to child marriage, developing an alliance between two families, minimizing the risk of dishonor. Although early marriage affects both boys and girls, in most of the child marriage only one of them is minor. Especially girls are victims of child marriage much. So it harms the girls more. There is a lot of pressure on her about husband, family and in-laws. Marital dispute and family torture begin during the time. All family members are harmed by family violence. Children suffer emotional turmoil. As a result they became inattentive in their studies. They have lack of education and apathy to the family. At one stage they are involved in amoral activity. Child marriage easily captures delightful, luscious and pleasurable moments of childhood and adolescence. It makes his/her life sad. Dormant desire, imaginative power and endowment of the mind are inhibited in many ways. The beautiful life ruins inchmeal.
Early marriage is a human rights violation. It is a great obstacle for girls from obtaining an education, enjoying optimal health, bonding with others their own age, maturing, and ultimately choosing their own life partners. Child marriage has many effects on girls' health: increased risk for sexually transmitted diseases, cervical cancer, malaria, death during childbirth, and obstetric fistulas. Girls' offspring are at increased risk for premature birth and death as neonates, infants, or children. Many of them suffer from inferiority also. Even both of the tendency of protesting and courage in him/her in the act of adultery gradually disappeared. As a result becoming dependent on others not to be a self-reliant he/she grows up in bad environment. Due to early marriage, the risk of maternal mortality is increasing. Minor mothers give birth to disabled and sick children. This results in family unrest. Even the fear of divorce can't be avoided. Early marriage harms not only the person but also family, society and the state. Child marriage is a major hindrance in women empowerment. However, in some cases child marriage becomes essential to make life better and safer. Then child marriage brings blessing to his/her life.
All of us should come forward to stop child marriage in the larger interest of the family, socially and the nation. It requires the successful implementation of the Prevention of Child Marriage Act through extensive publicity campaign. Radio, television and newspapers can play the vital role to aware people of the bad effects of child marriage. Policies and programs must educate communities, raise awareness, engage local and religious leaders, involve parents and empower girls through education and employment. Without birth certificate, marriage registration must be stopped. If the concerned administration and all kinds of people of the society can work together to stop child marriage, then we can easily get rid of its curse.
Administrative Officer, Ministry of Public Administration Bangladesh Secretariat, Dhaka