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Are we still Arguing about what makes Child Marriage Wrong?

BellaNaija.com

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This one is something.

Twitter users have for a while been debating whether it is wrong or right to marry off a child.

It’s a debate etched along religious lines, and arguments for and against are bound to be found offensive by certain parties.

Child marriage is a formal union entered into before reaching a legal “marriageable age,” often given as 18.

While Nigeria’s Child Rights Act of 2003 puts the legal age of marriage at 18, only 23 of Nigeria’s 36 states have adopted it, and so children as little as 12 can get married in some states.

In the case of religion, however, it is a bit trickier.

For pentecostal christians, the age of marriage is a rarely debated one, and the law of the land is often followed.

The Catholic Church’s 1983 Code of Canon Law, on the other hand, puts the age of marriage at 16 for males and 14 for female.

In Islam, marriages of girls at the young age of 10 have been known to be permitted, and it is often argued that a female becomes a woman, therefore of marriageable age, as soon as she attains puberty.

As is the usual on Nigerian Twitter, the fundament of the argument rests on religion, and so people for child marriage are saying their religion permits it, and people against are condemning both the people for and the religion.

Child marriage though, by any standard, is deplorable.

The idea is that anyone who is not an adult does not have the psychological and mental capability to make well informed decisions. It is why people younger than 16 cannot drive. Why people not yet 18 are not permitted to vote. Why people younger than 21 are not allowed alcohol.

Isn’t it awkward that one who is not trusted to cast a vote or handle alcohol, not trusted to handle an automobile, is expected to enter into a lifelong contract?

A quick exercise: Imagine you at 14, the thoughts in your head, the way you reasoned, saw the world. Then imagine you in a marriage at that age.

Besides, it would be insincere to discuss child marriage and not mention women’s rights.

While men are indeed married off before they attain the age of 18 (as of September 2014, 156 million living men were married as underage boys), it is women who are mostly the victim of the act.

In Niger, the country in which child marriage is the most prevalent, about 3 in 4 girls (75%) marry before their 18th birthday.

In developing countries, one of the most common causes of death for girls aged 15 to 19 was pregnancy and child birth.

And there are other health detriments, like obstetric fistulae, premature births, stillbirth, and sexually transmitted diseases (including cervical cancer).

Girls in child marriages are also more likely to suffer from domestic violence, child sexual abuse, and marital rape.

Still, the argument carries on. See what people on Twitter have to say:

14 Comments

  1. Jummy

    February 7, 2018 at 3:55 pm

    Child marriage is all shades of wrong! Simpu!

  2. Kung Fu Panda

    February 7, 2018 at 4:18 pm

    The arguments for child marriage are disturbing to say the least. I didn’t even realize how much I had screwed up my face reading this until someone asked me what was wrong. Absolutely vile! People as old as 40 aren’t even psychologically ready to be married, it’s now a 9 year old you think is?! What a disgusting mindset.

  3. Anon

    February 7, 2018 at 4:38 pm

    Religion is a disease….. very bad disease
    I’m a Christian
    But the way many things are justified in the name of religion is SICKENING
    I can’t even preach today .

  4. SoniaPaloma

    February 7, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    I felt so disgusted reading the idiotic reasons that soured ewedu human spilled in support of child marriage.

  5. Californiabawlar

    February 7, 2018 at 6:44 pm

    But they are peacefully marrying the children off na. /s/
    One thing I’d like is for people to stop using the comparison with daughters and sisters as an appeal to these animals conscience… who gives these kids away to begin with? You think they care? They would take their own daughters/sisters as wives if they could.
    And to the mofo talmbout your neighbors knacking 15 year olds with no problem. (1) Maybe you don’t know what’s going on in your neighbors house. Southerners clearly call out any such inappropriate criminal occurrence. (2) how does a 9yr old compare to a 15 yr old? There’s a HUGE puberty and physiological maturity gap you’re leaping over.
    There is no other justification for attraction to children but dementia! Most of the key physical attributes men are inately attracted to do not fully develop until a woman is well past puberty. E.g. hips for child bearing. Something is wrong with y’alls programming. Effing weirdos hiding behind religion!

    • Hey

      February 7, 2018 at 7:22 pm

      Thats an insult to people who suffer dementia! jeez .
      Do you know what dementia is ? .
      I support your point but very badly put…

    • californiabawlar

      February 7, 2018 at 9:06 pm

      I actually do, my apologies. Mental illness?

  6. lanya

    February 7, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    Every time I hear of child marriage it’s usually an under aged girl getting married off. Is it that 12-16 year old boys are not as mature as their female counterparts to get married off to a 40 year old woman for instance or am I missing something here?
    Anyone that sees nothing wrong in child marriage is mentally unstable and should be evaluated. I tried so hard to not be insulting with this comment.

  7. olsnetwork

    February 7, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    i am sorry, but lanya ur comment cracked me up..

  8. Mondela

    February 7, 2018 at 10:13 pm

    Yes religion has it issues.. But let’s face it Islam is the most problematic religion there is, the world would be a far better place if Islam didn’t exist, all this child bride BS is rooted in the religion.

  9. Chi

    February 8, 2018 at 3:59 am

    All valid points. How about the children- the next generation? What are the effects of child marriages on the mental and physical health of children born into such unions.

  10. miss_nk

    February 8, 2018 at 2:30 pm

    They don’t care how backwards their regions are, they don’t care about educating their children. Child marriage, they gleefully jump up and defend. So they are saying the almajiris roaming the roads and committing crimes are products of happy marriages?

  11. bubu

    February 8, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    abeg BN cut the crap. becos Omosexy is not hausa or muslim we want to forget she got married at 17 ba. continue . your type ensure Nigeria continues to rot. shameless hypocrite them

    • Californiabawlar

      February 11, 2018 at 10:01 am

      Continue to deceive yourselves by cherrypicking the very few examples of TEEN marriage in the south. That is why your leaders feed fat while the masses continue to live in squalor and mass producing children for terrorism. Shame on YOU! it’s been decades now that people have been telling y’all to stop! Of what use is all your education if finger pointing is all you have to contribute to the conversation? Do you think if the world had continued in this type of backwardness you’d have the internet for you to comman type this nonsense? I can’t believe people in the new generation would still stand to defend this nonsense. If not that I know some truly progressive Northerners I’d conclude that there’s definitely no hope for this region.

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