Not exactly sure on who I am trying to convince that child marriage is bad, but here ya go? I wrote this in 2018 and will keep this here for my records.
Almost one-half of the world's countries legally allow the marriage of children under age eighteen as long as there is parental consent, and one of those countries is the United States of America. Most Americans see child marriage as a trouble that does not exist in the Land of the Free, but every state has some exception where an adolescent can marry before he or she is eighteen years old. Countries with high poverty rates tend to have a higher rate of child marriage, which is most prevalent in Africa, however, this does not mean that Americans, along with the rest of the world, do not have a duty to aid the issues that affect the global community. Many organizations work towards a future purge of forced marriages on minors, but it is becoming increasingly difficult due to the matrimonial merger being deeply rooted in various cultures. Although some progress is being made with the outlawing of juvenile marriages, continuing formal education for girls, and recognizing rape within marriage as a crime, child marriage occurs every day, all around the world, and should be acknowledged as a serious issue in today's society.
By outlawing the marriage of children, the process of wedding kids will not only be more difficult, but also illegal. Obstinate citizens who oppose this ban of forcing their own children to marry adults of significant age will find that they can be imprisoned as punishment for contracting such a marriage. Fourteen million girls are married worldwide every year, most prominently in Africa along with countries in Asia and Central America. In Yemen, there is no minimum age for girls to get married, but when a divorce is requested, they are told that "little girls do not get to divorce." These children are being forced to marry without a way out of the relationship, regardless of whether the spouse if abusive or not. This is a complete violation of the Convention for the Rights of the Child (CRC), which was indeed signed by Yemen in 1991. Articles 3 and 12 are violated in the way that marriages between a child and an adult are not in the best interest of the child, and that the child is not allowed the opportunity to divorce in a court, even if the matter of divorce is of the child themselves. The issue of divorce would be nonexistent if minors were not allowed the right to marry at all, which, thankfully, there are governments supporting the abolishment of child marriage. A few countries that have become progressive and have recently raised the minimum age of marriage to 18, including Chad, Malawi, Guatemala, and Ireland. There are loopholes to every law, but by raising the minimum age of marriage, millions of girls are being spared their childhoods and educations, two of the first things to be left behind when a child walks down the aisle.
Often when girls are married at a young age, their education's future is discontinued due to the new responsibilities that their husbands bestow upon them. The girls are taught that their only job is to be a mother and that everything else, like reading, is not necessary nor important for them. For example, a twelve-year-old wife in Western Asia told Human Rights Watch at one point that she was illiterate and that she wished she had the benefit of being taught something other than to be a homemaker. This lack of an education makes young wives completely dependent on their husbands due to their illiteracy and youth. This makes for fewer opportunities for women to sustain themselves financially, and therefore raises the poverty rate. Married women and girls have no opportunity to leave their spouses because they completely support the married woman and her children. An education would provide girls the chance to have a job and be successful outside of their husband's status. If adults were banned from marrying children, those kids would have more time to continue their studies so that they can be individually financially competent. It has been proven that girls with little education are more vulnerable to poverty when their spouse dies, leaves, or divorces them because they do not have the knowledge needed to maintain themselves and their families. Young girls being abandoned without the ability to withdraw themselves from their marriage is slowly becoming disapproved in society, and the credit goes to the laws in place that are giving women more rights. There have also been an new abundance of laws that recognize rape within marriage as a crime, which will undoubtedly help the millions of young wives in abusive relationships.
In many countries around the world, rape is considered a crime and can have serious consequences, some even as extreme as death. However, for most nations, the right to convict one's rapist ceases to exist after they become married. Marital rape is a ramification of child marriage, but it is rarely seen as an offense around the world. India, for instance, has very limited laws against marital rape; section 375 of the Indian Penal Code states, "Sexual intercourse by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape." A girl who is in the process of getting a divorce could be raped by her husband, and it would be of no consequence to him because the divorce had not yet been accepted by the courts. What is most surprising about this section of the Indian Penal Code is that, in 2006, India declared child marriage illegal with the Child Marriage Prohibition and Regulation Act; yet there are still one million girls beneath the age of fifteen who have been dubbed wives, due to clandestine parents and child marriage's deep roots in society. In appreciation of the act, the Supreme Court in India officially affirmed that sex with an underage wife constitutes as rape in October of 2017. Though it is a slow process, there are countries who are starting to outlaw marital rape, and women all around the world are thankful for it. In 2002, Nepal decided to get rid of the marital rape exception because it violates the right of equal protection and the right to privacy, and that it is unreasonable to for a law to become void once a woman marries. Nepal is one of the 52 countries to amend their laws and make marital rape a criminal offense, but there are still many countries that have yet to ameliorate their legislations and recognize the issue. Girls and boys are both victims of child marriage, but girls tend to be more vulnerable due to them being seen as a financial burden to families all over the world. Parents want the girls to be married off quickly so that their dowries will help fund the family of the bride, but most men married to the girls rape them and abuse them brutally. HAQ: Centre for Child Rights is an organization that is based in Delhi, India and is prominent in the helping to enforce the current process for preventing child marriage and sanctioned marital rape.6 Through the government, HAQ works to enforce the law, change the culture, and protect the rights of all girls.
Non governmental organizations (NGOs) are arguably the most influencing opposer of child marriage due to their individually focused attention on the dilemma at hand. Some NGOs target the prohibition of child marriage in laws or identifying marital rape as a criminal offense, but Care battles child marriage through education. Care is an association that spreads awareness about child brides and also provides education for young girls to keep them out of early marriages, which is a great deed since girls who do complete secondary school are significantly less likely to get married at a young age. The multiplicity of children who are being married every day is slowly but surely being alleviated. The efforts of the governments, volunteers, and organizations are not in vain as they are working and will continue to work to make the lives of children in the world better, but it is also our responsibility as citizens of the United States. The United States of America is one of the richest countries in the world and has more than enough money to be able to fund and abate the amount of girls subjected to child marriage all around the world. It is evident that progress toward obliterating child matrimony is moving forward, as people are becoming more aware and are being active in their government to ensure the outlawing of child marriages, to help continue formal educations for girls, and to acknowledge rape within marriage as a violation of the law.