Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

3/11/2013 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Girls, as young as 9, may be forced to marry much older men.

The recent beating death of a 17-year-old girl in South Sudan has world attention focused on the practice of child marriages around the globe. It's about time too. Child marriages lead to higher rates of domestic violence, neonatal deaths, a lack of female education, and even death for some child brides.

Child brides are a problem in many countries, condemning many girls to a life of abuse, neglect, and sometimes an early death.

Child brides are a problem in many countries, condemning many girls to a life of abuse, neglect, and sometimes an early death.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/11/2013 (2 years ago)

Published in Africa

Keywords: Child brides, marriage, children, rape, abuse, beatings, killings, cows, price, dowry, mortality


JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN (Catholic Online) - The crisis isn't new. Children have been married, often to men much older because such men can afford to pay high prices for them. Poor families, usually in rural areas around the globe, use their daughters as currency to purchase wealth for the family. The price paid for these girls can be in the form of money or commodities.

In South Sudan, the exchange is often done in cows. For rural families, obtaining a herd of cattle means food and wealth for years to come.

Unfortunately, the price is paid by the daughter. Young girls, sometimes as old as 12, have been reported married in several countries around the world where such practices are entirely legal. In extreme cases, girls as young as 9 have been forced to marry, and sleep with their much older husbands.

The practice is most prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia, but if found in all countries where the laws do not protect children. It is a common marriage pattern in rural areas.

At the root of the problem is the mindset that daughters are commodities. They're not. Daughters are human beings and should be afforded every right that a male child enjoys. However, traditional practices are difficult to end.

Unfortunately, those traditions are costly in many ways. Daughters often leave school for marriage, which results in lower literacy and squanders an entire lifetime of potential. Typically, these teens also become pregnant, but suffer more complications because of their youth. Double digit percentages of maternal deaths are from teen mothers around the world, in some countries such as Malawi, the rate is as high as thirty percent.

Neonatal mortality is also higher in such marriages, possibly because the men are much older and produce healthy offspring with greater difficulty.

Girls who resist marriage also face rape, beatings, and sometimes death for doing so. Typically, it's family members who stand to gain financially from the marriage that are administering the beatings.

Although there are international campaigns to educate and discourage the practice, it remains common in many countries. Until national and tribal leaders can be convinced to outlaw the practice, it may be impossible to stop. The prevalence of governing civic patriarchy is a major part of the problem, with child marriage seen as part of the native culture. Few realize the treasures of potential they are squandering when subjecting their daughters to abuse.

Despite the challenge, this is an issue that deserves to be addressed. Children should not be married, and should not be forced to produce children of their own against their will. And above all, children should not be murdered for protecting their chastity and fundamental human rights.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for May 2015
Universal:
That, rejecting the culture of indifference, we may care for our neighbours who suffer, especially the sick and the poor.
Evangelization: That Mary's intercession may help Christians in secularized cultures be ready to proclaim Jesus.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Africa

BRIBERY AND GRAFT: Ugandan families tricked into giving up children for U.S. adoption Watch

Image of Church-backed orphanages and private childcare institutions are springing up across Uganda, catering to the U.S. market.

By Katy Migiro and Tom Esslemont, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Ugandan families have been bribed, tricked or coerced into giving up their children to U.S. citizens and other foreigners for adoption, a Thomson Reuters Foundation investigation has found. LONDON/KAMPALA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Leaked documents, court data, ... continue reading


'Human beings should not be sold' Ugandan grandmother decries system that tore her grandchild from her family Watch

Image of In Uganda, foreigners can secure legal guardianship in a matter of weeks, sometimes before the child's birth parents realize what has happened.

By Katy Migiro and Tom Esslemont, Thomson Reuters Foundation

The first time Jaja, a Ugandan woman, saw her one-year-old granddaughter, she was in the arms of an American man who she was told had "bought" the child. KAMPALA/LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The toddler was sitting with the man and his wife, eating ... continue reading


Christian pastors face possible death penalty for practicing faith in Sudan Watch

Image of Presbyterian pastors, Yat Michael Ruot (pictured) and Peter Yein Reith, were detained after practicing their faith in Sudan.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Presbyterian Christian preachers, Yat Michael Ruot and Peter Yein Reith, were reportedly detained by the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) of Sudan for no apparent reason. Now, the humanitarian group, Open Doors USA is voicing out concern over this ... continue reading


Stone tools dating back more than three million years old discovered in Kenya Watch

Image of Paleoanthropologists five years ago reported finding animal bones in Ethiopia that bore the signs of being cut 3.3 million to 3.4 million years ago.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Crude stone tools, recently discovered in Kenya, raise profound questions about prehistory. The tools date back 3.3 million years, making them the oldest such artifacts ever found by 700,000 years. However, these findings suggest that members of the genus Homo ... continue reading


Thousands of migrants flee Libyan conflict through Mediterranean Sea Watch

Image of Libyan migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

African migrants on the Libyan territory are plagued with several dangers; cruelty and violence against them are among the main causes that push them to search for a safe destination, like Europe. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - To reach this continent, they must ... continue reading


Freed journalist sues Al Jazeera news agency for $100 million, alleging negligence Watch

Image of Mohamed Fahmy's lawyers, Joanna Gislason and Gary Caroline, filed the lawsuit in the British Columbia Supreme Court in Canada earlier this month.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fahmy was held with two other Al Jazeera journalists for more than 400 days in Egypt. They were charged with belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, accused of threatening Egypt's national security, as well as airing false news. Released ... continue reading


'Today, we need peace' Mali peace talks resume as violence increases Watch

Image of

By Kaci Racelma (Catholic Online)

While preparations for signing a peace agreement, scheduled for the 15th of May in the Malian city of Bamako, continue to progress, the situation in northern Mali becomes more and more complex and confused. ALGIERS, ALGERIA (Catholic Online) - Insecurity resurfaces and ... continue reading


Boko Haram kidnap victim speaks on horrific experience full of rape and abuse Watch

Image of Most of the kidnapped women were turned into sex slaves.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"They turned me into a sex machine. They took turns to sleep with me. Now, I am pregnant and I cannot identify the father," told Asabe Aliyu, one of the rescued women from the extremist camp, in an interview with the Daily Times newspaper. Asabe, 23, is just one of the ... continue reading


Disabled and under-aged Ugandan women seek justice for sexual crimes committed against them Watch

Image of Uganda is in the midst of a sexual violence epidemic, and most perpetrators go unpunished, the rights group said.

By Kieran Guilbert, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Tackling an "epidemic" of sexual violence in Uganda, in which disabled women and girls are most vulnerable to abuse, and seeking justice for the victims are at the heart of a campaign launched by the rights group Equality Now on Thursday. LONDON (Thomson ... continue reading


'We have no room for gays and those others,' deputy president of Kenya says Watch

Image of Homosexuality is illegal in Kenya and has been so since colonial British rule, which ended in 1963.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"The Republic of Kenya is a republic that worships God. We have no room for gays and those others," Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto declared at a Nairobi church congregation in the national Swahili language. Ruto says that there is "no room" for ... continue reading


All Africa News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 51:12-20
12 And therefore I shall thank you and praise you, ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 19:8, 9, 10, 11
8 The precepts of Yahweh are honest, joy for the ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 11:27-33
27 They came to Jerusalem again, and as Jesus was ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for May 30th, 2015 Image

St. Joan of Arc
May 30: St. Joan of Arc is the patroness of soldiers and of France. On ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter