Critical Commentary on Child Marraiges

Posted on October 25, 2012 by

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Hindu girl gets married before she turns 18!

By: Laurel Krebsbach

For my critical commentary I am writing about an editorial article from The Hindu called “Lost Childhood.” The article is about child marriages, but more specifically focuses on the first International Day of the Girl Child celebrated for the first time on October 11th of this year. International Day of the Girl Child focuses on girl’s rights and needs. This year’s celebration focused on the topic of child marriages. The motto for this year was “My Life, My Right, End Child Marriage” (“Lost Childhood”).

The article is trying to create awareness of girls having to get married at such a young age and the consequences of this. This has become a huge problem in India for they account for over forty percent of the world’s child marriages. To add to that statistic between the 2000- 2011, forty-seven percent of women between the ages 20 and 24 were married before they turned 18. Girls in poverty are much more at risk to child marriages than a girl who is in a richer class. Seventy-five percent of girls from lower class families have the possibility of having an arranged marriage. While only sixteen percent of richer girls have the same possibility. The article mentions the rate of child marriage is dropping, but is still too high for the young age these girls are getting married at (“Lost Childhood”).

Some people may ask why child marriage is such a problem and there are many reasons for it. First and foremost it deprives a girl of her childhood when many girls are married before they turn 18. It also affects their health and education. At a young age teenage girls are less aware of contraceptives and most girls have very little access to them either. So in response to this the girls end up with unwanted pregnancies at a very early age, which can severely affect their own personal health. The girls are also so young to be having children that many girls end up having complications with their pregnancies. Along with the risk of pregnancy comes the risk of sexually transmitted diseases as well. When the girls are getting married at a younger age they also stop their schooling sooner, which makes many girls uneducated (“Lost Childhood”).

In Hinduism marriage is an obligatory duty and considered a very sacred relationship. Arranged marriages are still a route for Hindu girls today. The marriages are arranged by the parents and blessed by the elders. Family background and financial status are very much taken into consideration for these marriages. For Hindu women marriage marks the end of childhood. The girl must leave her parents’ home and after she is married her relationship with her parents becomes very minimal. The girl must please the husband’s family if she wants to be treated well by his family (“Hinduism and marriage”).

I personally think protecting girl from child marriage is very important for it will reduce risk of early pregnancy, maternal death, and sexually transmitted diseases. It will help girls get a better education overall because they will stay in school way longer than usual. I think in order to fix this issue we need to make it a pressing issue to change the social norms of child marriages. We need to make it so child marriage isn’t such a common occurrence. I think the governments should even offer incentives to families who delay the arranged marriage until the girl is older than eighteen. If we start to do all these things in the end we are creating a better future for these girls.

Sources:

“Hinduism and Marriage.” The Hindu Marriage, Past and Present. N.p., n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2012. <http://www.hinduwebsite.com/hinduism/h_marriage.asp&gt;.

“Lost Childhood.” The Hindu. N.p., n.d. Web. 22 Oct. 2012.<http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/editorial/lost-childhood/article4019668.ece&gt;.

 

 

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Posted in: Hinduism