Hello, my name is Destiny Hardy a 10th grader from McKinley Tech, and my topic is child marriage. Do you have a child under the age of 18? Now, how would you like to attend their wedding this year? Approximately 12 million girls are married before they turn 18 every year; underaged girls – like myself – are victims of child marriage, but by bringing light to this topic I’m honoring the girls who are affected by this phenomenon. By empowering girls, offering resources, and providing education to undeveloped countries, women will be able to challenge societal gender norms.
One solution to this issue is to empower women this will allow females to know their worth and stop the injustices they experience in their country. Empowerment is essential for girls in undeveloped countries to identify their goals; it also allows them to increase their knowledge, confidence, and ability to achieve. According to the article, Why Does Child Marriage Occur states “child marriage is driven by patriarchal values and the desire to control female sexuality” (Why Does Child Marriage Occur). Girls are often victimized by patriarchal values society has; they’re seen as subordinates to men. By empowering girls we can assist in changing this stigma surrounding females, and help them see their worth.
Another solution is providing resources to undeveloped countries. One reason to employ this solution is girls wouldn’t have to enter child marriage for economic reasons. In Poverty-Girls-Not-Brides it states “giving a daughter in marriage allows parents to reduce their expenses: one less person to feed, clothe, and educate” (Poverty Girls Not Brides). Low-income jobs and poverty are one of the main reasons child marriage occurs; however, if the government provided families with economic opportunities, we’ll see a decrease in this phenomenon.
Some people believe child marriage is necessary because it keeps girls safe; however, this isn’t the case as “girls under 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their 20s and face a higher risk of pregnancy-related injuries” (International Women’s Health Condition). Even though child marriages rarely occur in America, just like Covid-19, this is a global problem that we can’t ignore. If anything about our current condition has taught us, it’s that we must have a global consciousness.
To respond to this dilemma we can demand the overseas governor’s in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa to provide financial aid to impoverished families; this can create jobs for low-income individuals and creates access for future investments. In conclusion, child marriage has physiological effects but, society can prevent this from spreading by empowering, providing resources, and education to fight this abuse.