Argumentative Essay on Child Marriages
Imagine if you were forced to marry an unknown man or woman just because it's part of your culture, or simply just to follow your parents' wishes. Would you go along with it because it's part of your tradition, or would you stand up for your human rights? Arranged marriages are marriages that are planned by the parents of the bride and groom—in which they have little or no say and their opinions are usually ignored. Child marriage is a form of arranged marriages as female children are paired up with older males by their parents, for their own safety. However, it is seen to be violating human rights, especially women's rights as they deny a girl's right to health, choice, to live free from violent action and education.
There are many causes of child marriages which include cultural, economic, social, and religious reasons. In most cases, a mixture of these causes results in the imprisonment of a child without their consent. Poverty is one of the main drivers of child marriage in which poor families sell their children into marriage in order to settle debts, make money, or escape the cycle of poverty. The girls who have such a fate are less likely to receive the education they need to live a healthy and empowered life. Without an education, they are less able to earn a safe and adequate income that would lift themselves and their family out of poverty. Parents see little value in educating their daughters and instead marry them off to fulfill the role of a wife and mother. Women are idealized in most cultures and it is claimed that the only job women should have are cleaning and taking care of the children. Is this really all that there is for women? Did you know that every two seconds a girl is married before she is 18? Moreover, marriage is an abrupt end to a girl's childhood as she is forced to become more mature and to act older than she is. Not only is she taken away without her consent but she doesn't enjoy anything a child should be enjoying when aged 15 or younger.
Furthermore, when girls are forced to marry their right to an education and the ability to develop the skills and knowledge needed to live a healthy life are taken away from her. Many girls aren’t educated because schools are too expensive for the families to pay, or because parents don’t see a point in educating their daughters. Most parents don't find education relevant for their daughters as the only future they see for their girl is marriage and pregnancy. This is not fair as women should have a choice in how they want to live their lives. They should be able to travel around the world, meet a lot of people from different cultures, see new places, and then decide where they want to live and who they want to marry themselves. Niger has the highest rate of child marriage in the world as 3 in 4 girls marry before they are 18-years-old.
Child marriage often has devastating consequences on a girl’s health. It encourages the initiation of sexual activity at an age when their bodies are not developed enough to be sexually active. Neither physically or emotionally ready to give birth, child brides face high risks of death in childbirth and are vulnerable to pregnancy-related injuries that may even lead to the death of their child. This is something children at the age of 16 or younger shouldn't face. Moreover, the mother's risk for anemia and postpartum depression is heightened. Postpartum depression is a mood disorder in new mothers. In severe cases, the mother may have thoughts of hurting herself or the baby. Additionally, there are many disadvantages for the babies born as well. Babies born to teen mothers are more likely to be born prematurely and have a low birth weight. The babies born underweight are at a higher risk for a number of problems that can affect their heart, lungs, and brain. Some babies may be healthy, but it is a serious condition and it's one of the most important risks of teen pregnancy. Why pressure your daughters into marrying at such a young age and getting pregnant that may lead to so much harm?
Another reason why child marriage is practiced is that it's part of the tradition of some cultures and in many places it happens simply because it has happened for generations. In some communities, when girls start to menstruate, they should get married. Marriage is, therefore, the next step towards giving a girl her status as a wife and mother. Society frowns upon women that are not married before they're 18 and parents rush to marry their children in order to not have any more responsibility for them. However, it's not like this in all cases. Some parents marry their daughters often to ensure her safety in areas where girls are at high risk of harassment and physical or sexual assault. When families face even greater hardship, they may see child marriage as a coping mechanism in the face of poverty and violence. However, is this the only way to ensure your child's safety? Marrying her to a complete stranger which may also cause her physical and emotional harm? How can they ensure that the person that they married their daughter to is safe? The only way to ensure that this will not happen is letting their daughters pick out their own husband, someone that they believe will treat them the way they are supposed to be treated and love them the way they should be loved.
In conclusion, child arranged marriages should be discouraged and furthermore, stopped as they violate human rights, especially women's rights. Women should have the right to education, health, and to be free from violence. Moreover, arranged marriages usually force both men and women to marry someone they don't want to, or at a time where they're too young without their consent. Pregnancies at a young age may cause a lot of problems to both the woman and her child, so they should be avoided. Women should be able to choose what they want to do in their life if they want to have a career or a family while having a job outside the house. Why shouldn't children explore their full potential in life, and why should most of their childhood be taken away from them? Why should they be restrained and have their parents plan their own future for them? Why should personalities be hidden and desires buried deep when the world can change and be a better place for everyone? The world can change for the better, so everyone can have the best they deserve and desire.
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