UNICEF recognizes child marriage as an act with a person who didn’t reach the age of 18. This definition concerns girls as well as boys.
In some regions, the least age of getting married legalized by law is less than 18 years. In others - marriage under the age of 18 is committed with the agreement of their parents, due to pregnancy, or any other circumstances. In the third ones - the cultural traditions can be stronger than the official legal norms.
According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for the period from 2011 to 2020 more than 140 million girls will become young brides.
If current situation of child marriage will stay at the same level, every year 14.2 million girls will marry at a very early age. It means that 39,000 of such marriages there will be performed daily.
Moreover, from the 140 million girls that are married before they reach 18 years of age, 18.50 million girls will be aged less than 15 years.
Young marriage is a worldwide problem, but their quantity varies tremendously between countries. The majority of young marriages committed in rural areas of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
The following 10 countries have the biggest number of child marriage: Niger - 75%; Chad and the Central African Republic - 68%; Bangladesh - 66%; Guinea - 63%; Mozambique - 56%; Mali - 55%; and Malawi - 50%.
Child marriage frequently becomes recognized as a violation of girls' rights for the next reasons:
• Prevents girls to get education;
• Deprives any opportunities to acquire professional and life skills;
• It exposes them to the risk of too early pregnancy, childbirth, and motherhood before they will be ready from the physical and psychological point of view;
• It increases the risk of sexual violence by an intimate partner, and HIV infection.
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According to UNFPA data, there are some factors contributing to the spread of child marriage: poverty and related to it economic survival strategies, gender inequality, issues of ownership of land and other property, control of sexuality and the protection of family honor, tradition and culture, the inability to ensure the safety of life unmarried woman (the latter is especially true in times of war, famine or epidemics). Among other reasons, it may be noted the use of marriages to address the issues of power and the relationship between the families. Distribution of child marriage may be due to rapid population growth, a large number of orphans, epidemics of various diseases.
The problem being widespread all over the world, a lot of celebrities argue against child marriages. Among them, you can find Segun Arinze, Stephanie Linus, Omoni Oboli. Their position about these marriages is strong. Duncan Mighty joins the growing list of that celebrities.
Duncan Wene Mighty Okechukwu, simply known as Duncan Mighty, was born on 28 October 1983 in Obio-Akpor, Rivers State. He is a well-known Nigerian musician, singer, and music producer.
A few days ago talented Nigeria singer posted on Instagram the photo of two children. They got married at a very early age. They looked sad and unhappy at a day of their marriage. That performance evoked a tempestuous reaction.
In 2013 the Nigerian Senate was criticized for approving a bill that legalized child marriages.
According to statistic 43% of Nigeria, girls get married under the age of 18, while 17% of girls from 43% get married earlier than they reach 15 years.
Child marriage acts are getting, unfortunately, more and more a widespread phenomenon. Due to a range of factors, it grows to a huge number of mutilated young lives. Children are our future and hope. And it’s the adults’ task number one to protect young interests. As a result, our society will have a good educated, healthy and happy generation.