March 26, 2023

There are huge differences between child marriage or under age,early,and force marriage. 

While I’ve nothing against early marriage which is marriage between the ages of 16,17,18 and 19 to 20.In this category the girl in question has attained maturity, and had developed enough to understand what she is getting into sometimes in these instance she can have the liberty to even love and chose the spouse herself. But in case of child marriage or under age this is a correct definition of child abused in this case the girl is between the ages of 11,12,13.You find out the victims are not matured or prepared, cannot fathom what is actually going on with their life’s, they are not just ready, physically and mentally as well. And the approach of the man toward her leaves a long lasting harsh impression on her, mentally and physically, sometimes she adapt and accept that as part of her destiny and sometimes she becomes a rebel and succumbed to some ungodly acts, like prostitution, lesbianism and others.

Force marriage on the other hand, is more of arranged marriage driving by sometimes, so-called act of strengthening zumunci or alliance between parents to strengthen a friendship ties. And sometimes for parents selfish interest or convenience damning the consequences. Also these marriages could happen to either under age or even a matured girl. And the consequences are almost similar the victim may accept or rebel depends on the circumstances surrounding the marriage. 

We should be aware that, VVF is yes common in girls that are married while they were not matured enough physically and mentally,meaning their body organs are not matured enough to endure the rigours of sex life and child birth they tend to contract VVF.But we should also be aware that it could happen to mature ladies as well, especially those that go through a prolonged labour during child birth as the virginal muscles have stretch wide out, and in the event causes the tearing of the virgina and the anus, and the energy has been lost, due to the struggles in child birth and not been attended by a health care professional who is supposed to supervise the child birth and be able to tell when whether a woman is capable of giving birth by herself or through other medical procedures and when a woman should push or other wise. So it’s advisable that a woman in labour whether young or old should be attended by a health professional or a recognized local birth attendant. 

And similarly, early marriage is not practice only in the norths, it is true that the cases  are more rampant in the north due to ignorance and so called culture.And it is true we have the largest share in the case of VVF. 

Thank God nowadays the cases are declining, with the awareness going on about child marriage which I see it more as heartlessness and inconsideration of the highest order.

Barrister Mariya Shittu is a writer, Social Justice advocate and a Mother to her beautiful children. 

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