The Girl Without a Voice

“Whenever I saw him , I hid. I hated to see him”, tears tremble down the face of innocent Tehani who was only six years old when wedded in the village of Hajjah in Yemen. She is one of 12 million girls across the nation who never experience the joy of childhood but had to endure the hardships that comes along with taking care of a spouse.

Tehani was married to a 25 year old man name Majed and recalls her childhood as one “traumatizing” experience. Many developing countries like Niger, Bangladesh and Chad continue to force children into child marriages disregarding the many laws against it. Statistics shows that 48% -nearly 10 million- are from southern Asia, 42% from Africa, and 29% from Latin America. The reasons behind child marriages vary depending on the family. Some societies find it traditional to have the girls marry at a young age while others do it to avoid debts.

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Religious values are also a factor when making these life-long decisions. Although these reasons seem tolerable , there should be no arguments for child brides whatsoever. A child between the ages of 5-14 should be taught the basic fundamental values of life such as sharing,caring, avoiding violence and working together. Because at a young age children are vulnerable and can go into early childhood trauma, making a commitment to another man should be the last thing a child should experience. Getting into this type of commitment prevents the child from being educated and increases the chances of poverty.

These youngsters not only deserve to get an education but should be given the right to choose the person they will marry. Child marriages can also lead to abusive relationships. Often times running away from their husbands becomes a way to get away from their mishaps. Unfortunately other times suicide becomes an option. Many of these girls die when giving birth because the body can’t handle pregnancy. With increasing numbers of child marriages growing in rural nations , efforts to put an end to this outrageous phenomenon has been little to none.

“people have never taken this seriously” said Jaya Sagade , author of “Child marriage in India”.”No political party has taken proper action against it; neither has anyone in the legal fraternity. There’s a sense that it won’t be possible to uproot such an entrenched custom.” Estimation shows that about 140 millions girls will be married from 2011-2020.This horrendous nightmare continues to thrive throughout the nation without coming to an end soon.