I was watching a documentary on how a former under-aged bride spoke out in Pakistan. The whole documentary reminded me of the fact that it is a big fortune for a female in South Asia to be born in a privileged family and to live in a society that despises child marriages and is unprecedented about it. In Asian countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh child marriage is a social norm still in practice. So, what is the root cause of child marriage?
Some will say it is solely the economic deprivation of people in rural areas. Some will say it’s their way of protecting females in the society. However, in my opinion, it is the after-effect of all the reasons mentioned above.
Child marriage still prevails
In Bangladesh, the legal marriageable age for a female is 18. Yet, it is not improvised fully. There are many instances out there that makes us understand the problem very well. A doctor shared her opinion regarding this. She states, “Being from a South Asian country, I second that child marriage still exists in our society. I see young girls coming to us in our Hospital being pregnant at the young age of 14-15. They face lots of complications “. It is actually the mindset of people that needs to be changed first.
We should tackle the issue from a societal level. Rather, we try to do it from an economic perspective. People have to label sexualizing a young child’s physical growth as a taboo. We can address the entire problem from grassroots level through educating men of previous to present generations from the poor states all over South Asia.
The marriage certificates fabricate the age in many cases. Hence, they do not get caught. We have to showcase issues like these more to raise awareness. I encourage people to voluntarily participate in child marriage awareness program. Consequently, we can eradicate this tradition from our society. Through seminars and social media, we need to make young girls aware of their self-worth, mental health, and physical health.
The young girls should know that their only option in life is not getting married and maintaining a household. They can be fully independent and pursue their own dreams. Therefore, we need to address the problem from the very root to make it successful.
Written by: Syeda Tahira Noor
Model: Mysha Khandaker
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