Child marriage as a global problem has existed from time immemorial. This practice occurs nearly everywhere in the world and most often it goes unnoticed. Over the years, many actions designed to fight against this practice have proven abortive, and constitute just a drop on a hot stone. But what if we send a whole waterfall, instead of just a few drops to eliminate this practice entirely?
The underlying reasons for the re-occurrence of the said practice is embedded in the fact that marriage is considered universally as the privacy of each individual or family amidst guiding laws and principles. Marriage procedures are highly regarded in most settings as traditional norms and customs which are well guarded.
Thus, many parents force their children into child; forced and early marriages as a result of customs/show of wealth or rather poverty. Nevertheless, for whatever reasons people perpetrate the practice of child marriage, the outcome in most cases is often regrettable at the nearest or long future: one of the world’s greatest man Mahatma Gandhi got married at the age of 13 but later on thought of his early marriage with shame and so he did much to turn his people away from the custom of child marriage (CAROL Christian 1973).
Gandhi could be counted lucky to have regretted a child marriage simply with shame, some others deeply regret with an agony emanating from unpersued dreams, related health issues, victimized violence leading to low self esteem and worst of all curtailed education.
Therefore, worthy of note is the fact that child marriage is at the core center of very many varied forms of violence perpetrated on children across the globe, especially on girls. As such, to tackle the varying problems adults especially women go through today, we must try to attack the bottom causes of these social issues which are linked to child marriage in many cases.
Child-marriage most often prevent young girls from seeking education and attaining independence, as they are bound to their role as a submissive wife and mother.
As Maria Montessori puts it: “the education which entails providing for the real needs of the child would produce a wise and happy adults” (CAROL Christian 1973). By this, Maria Montessori implied that it takes appropriate molding from childhood to achieve a great future.
Thus, in order to foster efforts towards attaining our main mission of women empowerment in a sustainable manner, much efforts should also be concentrated towards nurturing and empowering children through quality education so as to avoid to a greater extend the problems faced when they metamorphose in to women.
We at Bridgers Association Cameroon are therefore resolute to exterminating early child marriages through advocacy and charitable donations in preparedness for a brighter future for our future women.
Our advocacy strategies in this area would involve:
- Our team of passionate volunteers is always ready to go even to the most remote villages for the results.
- Massive sensitization campaigns in workshops/round table discussions and seminars against child marriage;
- Massive awareness raising campaigns including door to door that will expose the negative effects associated with child marriage;
- Promotion of quality education for the girl child;
- Psycho-social rehabilitation and support victims of child marriage in order to appropriately strike a balance in their mind sets;
- Advocate for traditional leaders to facilitate and implement changes in their customs and traditions linked to child marriage, breast ironing and female genital mutilation (FGM).