In Africa, child marriages cases are common. Marriage has a clear set of obligations and rules
agreed upon by spouses to ensure equal partnership. Child marriages disregard willing consensus
and are practiced due to abiding to customs and traditions of their community A child`s right is
heavily violated when married off early. Girls end up lacking opportunities to better themselves
due to child marriage. They become vulnerable to diseases, conflict, and wifely duties at a very
tender age. Niger, an African country is scrutinized today on the issue of child marriages.
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Certain communities in Niger, prioritize men and neglect females. Men are viewed far
much superior to females hence they are given a fair chance to learn. Parents who endured child
marriages accustom their children to this pattern. Lack of education among individuals prompts
them to faithfully follow traditional practices by law. Illiteracy causes damage. Most girls are
forced into marriages due to family financial strains and initially paid dowry. Every year, a group
of young girls are married off. Child marriage is a torturous act, investing in a girl`s education is
considered a gamble but it is the best investment in life.
Benefits of Education among Girls
Educating women can help end the issue of child marriages in Niger. Often emphasized,
education is the key. Education is a crucial agent of change. Children deserve the right to
education, however, despite numerous emphasis, unluckily some are denied this privilege. In
Niger, child marriage is heavily practiced. Educating girls curbs the issue of population
explosion. Women are able to plan their reproduction rates and invest financially in securing
their children’s future. They are subjected to total control over their bodies therefore eliminating
the issue of dictatorship over how many children their partner wants.
Educating a woman reduces the infant mortality rate .Women that are aware of child
birth risks know how to curb them. An illiterate woman is more likely to give birth to a child and
expose it to certain diseases. This can be done through the ignorance of child delivery practices,
vaccination and immunization requirements. Educated women ensure their children receive polio
vaccines which is uncommon knowledge to the illiterate. Women with greater knowledge in
health care are less likely to die during pregnancy, child birth or post-partum period. They are
informed of each and every step of their pregnancy rather than following in a clueless manner.
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They are aware of prenatal medical care, labor, delivery, complications and follow up by visiting
Educated women are less likely to be victims of domestic violence. They are less tolerant
with issues pertaining any form of abuse. They know their rights therefore oppose any form of
harassment, physical abuse, and cultural practices such as Female Genital Mutilation
(FGM). Women who are fully aware of their rights are the educated ones (UNCTAD, 2012). An
educated woman is fully equipped to navigate through life keenly rather than blindly.
Effects of Child Marriage
Child marriages thwart a girl's future. Young girls and first-time mothers may be
presented with prolonged or obstructed labor which may result in living with fistula. This is the
leaking of urine or feces. Men are likely to leave a girl due to this health issue. (Yolah, 2001).
Physical abuse commonly occurs among young wives. Marriage at a tender age renders them
helpless in questioning or defending themselves. The younger the girl's age in marriage, the
higher the risk of domestic violence (CRLP, 2001). Naivety poses a threat towards them for they
are at risk of domestic violence, sexual abuse, health issues, and exploitation.
Child marriages deter girls from pursuing their dreams. Girls are only viewed as
housewives and child bearers when married. Child marriages transcend the same effect. It affects
the mother and her future born girls. A mother who got married off early she will likely marry
off her children at an early age due to relatability and custom. When a woman is educated she is
able to make better discernment over her children’s future based on experience and knowledge.
She makes informed decisions at every juncture of their lives. Child marriages force girls to drop
out of school therefore they lack literacy skills. Dropping out of school results in unemployment
hence one is unable to cater for one's family relying on the male gender for financial support.
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Child marriages have dramatic consequences towards the girl. For example, young girls at the
age of 15 years with three children may end up having low self-esteem issues if her fellow age
mates are school girls.
Education goes hand in hand with religion and region and are needed in order to end
inequality. Education can change a girl`s future but the need to highlight these issues can hinder
it from becoming a success. Regions that are much far interior from urban cities tend to uphold
their traditional rules religiously. The society should give both genders an equal chance. Equal
opportunity should cut across both genders. Inclusivity of female education is one of the best
policies for achieving the productivity of a nation (Subbarao & Raney, 1995). The female gender
should be given a chance to dream and actualize their dreams. They need to be respected, valued,
and honored. Women are primary caregivers and the backbone to every family, they can do so
much more than domestic chores and childbearing. Rule out the normalcy of describing men as
protectors and leaders and referring to women as child-bearers and pretty (Alhassan & Odame,
In, conclusion, returning to school may prove difficult to the girl after marriage. Having
extra mouths to feed, domestic chores, pregnancy, lactation, and caregiving may be difficult to
accomplish as a young mother and wife. Women can learn and excel too. Women have
aspirations and goals to accomplish but they are often faced with several setbacks. They have a
fighting spirit but when it comes to education let them not scramble for a seat at the table.
Women need to be valued for their innate abilities and contributions. Education should be free
and fair for all gender in every part of the world, most importantly Niger.
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Alhassan, E., & Odame, F. S. (2015). Gender inequality in basic education in the northern region
of Ghana: Household and contextual factors in perspectives. Ghana Journal of
Development Studies, 12(1-2), 125. DOI:10.4314/gjds.v12i1-2.8
Center for Reproductive Law and Policy (CRLP).2001. Women of the World: Laws and Policies
Affecting Their Reproductive Lives (Anglophone, Africa). New York: CRLP.
Subbarao, K., and Laura Raney. 1995. “Social Gains from Female Education.” Economic
Development and Cultural Change 44 (1): 105–28.
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. (2012). Trade and development report,
1981–2011: Three decades of thinking development. United Nations Trade and
Development Report, 7-8. DOI: 10.18356/94844beb-en
Yolah, H. (2001). Epilogue to childhood encounter. United Nations Populated Fund.
Retrieved September 25, 2020, from https://www.unfpa.org/news/epilogue-childhood-