Early Marriage Argumentative Essay
Early marriage has been a topic of contention amongst different quarters. Even though the world has made considerable strides in its move towards urbanization, some parts of the world have continually lagged and represent the areas where vices such as early marriages are rampant. Notably, various quarters have advanced their arguments regarding this topic with opponents asserting that early marriage denies the girl child education, and economic emancipation and leads to early pregnancy, which can be dangerous in some instances. However, proponents have refuted the reasons advanced by proponents citing the fact that the girl can benefit economically and socially. This is not entirely true since it has been established that it promotes levels of dependency and also reduces the survival chances of the girl and her offspring.
7 Reasons Why Early Marriages Happen
|Reasons for Early Marriage||Description|
|1. Cultural and Religious Traditions||Some cultures and religions practice early marriages as part of their traditions and beliefs.|
|2. Economic Factors||In some societies, early marriages are seen as a way to reduce the financial burden on the family and secure economic stability.|
|3. Social Pressure and Family Expectations||Family and social pressure can influence young individuals to marry early, particularly in traditional or conservative communities.|
|4. Lack of Education and Employment Opportunities||In areas with limited access to education and employment opportunities, early marriage can be seen as an option for young individuals to secure their future.|
|5. Early Pregnancy or Parenthood||Early pregnancy or parenthood can lead to early marriage as a means of social and family support.|
|6. Fear of Social Stigma and Outcast||Some communities have strict social norms and practices that consider unmarried individuals as outcasts or socially unacceptable.|
|7. Lack of Awareness and Access to Reproductive Health||Communities with limited awareness and access to reproductive health services may consider early marriage as a means to address issues related to sexual health and hygiene.|
This essay advances an argument against early marriage
According to Hodgkinson (2013), early marriage should not be promoted as it denies the girl child a chance to be educated. This stems from the fact that in some parts of the world, girls are married off at the tender age of 13 or 14 years. Notably, physical development does not also represent mental development because a successful marriage requires that the couple assist each other emotionally and financially. This means that when a girl is married off at a tender age, she cannot be in a position to make essential decisions on her own. Thus, she will end up being dependent on his husband, which will deny the family economic freedom. Additionally, education helps girls to learn life skills, which are essential for them to maintain their hygiene and of their family.
Rabb & Rotberg (2014) explore the issue of early marriage about gender equality. They advance that gender equality is a debate that has existed for several decades and it has finally taken root in many countries as laws are enacted to ensure parity. Thus, the authors further indicate the need for education to ensure that the girl child competes favorably with the boy child. According to the authors, early marriage should not be promoted because it promotes the oppression of the girl child. In many instances especially in countries where early marriage is rampant, it abounds that women mostly work at the household level or have opted to run their businesses, which denies them economic power. The authors suggest that girls should be given a chance to pursue their dreams as education abounds as one way that they can achieve success in life.
Lastly, Unicef (2005) campaigns against early marriage due to the problems associated with early pregnancy. According to the organization, many girls in early marriages end up having unplanned pregnancies. This is not advisable since the children in such marriages end up suffering because of the lack of basic needs. Another threat concerns the increased number of abortions, which leads to death or birth defects. Unicef (2005) has also recorded a high number of maternal mortality rates that result because of inexpensive labor, unsafe abortions, or obstructed labor. Infertility can also result due to such early pregnancies. Other complications associated with early pregnancies include giving birth to premature children, retarded fetal growth, or complications such as low birth weight.
However, proponents refute the points advanced above citing the fact that early marriage facilitates a girl to enjoy economic and financial prosperity. Sweetman (1998) proposes that women who come from poor backgrounds should not be restrained from early marriage. The author cites early marriage as one way that girls can escape poverty. Additionally, the author asserts that the girl’s family can enjoy economic emancipation from the dowry paid. Besides, the author cites the fact that a girl can get married to a family, which will facilitate her education by paying her school fees. Thus, the author opines that early marriage should not be considered as sentencing the girl child to a life of poverty.
In conclusion, early marriage elicits a lot of debate with different quarters availing their opinion regarding the issue. However, from this essay, it can be deduced that early marriage should be dealt away with completely because it denies the girl child education, leads to early pregnancy and denies the girl child gender equality. These points seem to carry more weight than what the proponents advocate for as they suggest that early marriage is a way through which the girl child can experience financial emancipation. Arguably, people should desist from early marriages.