Early Marriage Argumentative Essay
Early marriage has been a topic of contention amongst different quarters. Despite the fact that the world has made considerable strides in its move towards urbanization, some parts of the world have continually lagged behind and represent the areas where vices such as early marriages are rampant. Notably, various quarters have advanced their arguments regarding this topic with opponents assertiing that early marriage denies the girl child education, 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 estalished that it promotes levels of dependancy and also reduces survival chances of the girl and her offsprings.
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 a tender age of 13 or 14 years. Notably, physical development does not also represent mental development because a successfully 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 is essential for them to maintain their hygiene and of their family.
Rabb & Rotberg (2014) explore the issue of early marriage in relation to 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 own 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 pregancny. According to the organization, many girls in early marriages end up having unplanned pregancies. This is not advisbale since the children in such marriage 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 ealry 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 the 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 through 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 qurters availing their opinion regarding the issue. However, from this essay, it can be deducted that early marriage should be dealt away with completely because it denies the girl child education, leads to early pregancy 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.
Hodgkinson, M. (2013, May 3). Speaking Out Against Child Marriage: “We Can End Child Marriage, and We Can End it in a Generation”. Retrieved Dec 1, 2014, from Thinks Africa Press: http://thinkafricapress.com/society/speaking-out-against-child-marriage
Rabb, T. K., & Rotberg, R. I. (2014). Industrialization and Urbanization: Studies in Interdisciplinary History. London: Princeton University Press.
Sweetman, C. (1998). Violence Against Women. London: Oxfam.
Unicef. (2005). Early Marriage A Harmful Traditional Practice A Statistical Exploration 2005. London: UNICEF.