Early marriage as a barrier to Girl's education


This paper explores the issue of early marriage in Africa. It sheds light specifically on reason behind its perpetuation, its harmful consequences, shows how it constitutes a barrier to education and enjoyment of girl’s human rights and how it further threatens the development of countries. The findings from an extensive reading of materials related to early marriage suggest that early marriage is due to various factors including among others, the search for economic survival,protection of young girls, peer group and family pressure, controlling female behavior andsexuality, wars and civil conflicts and socio-cultural and religious values. It is a violation of girl’s human rights as it deprives her from freedom, opportunity for personal development, and other rights. It also a developmental challenge for population pressure, health care costs and lost opportunities of human development. It is barrier to girl’s education as young girls drop out from school to get married which impacts negatively on the community as whole and on the wellbeing of future generation. This practice stands in direct conflict with the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); such as the promotion of basic education, fight against poverty, the prevention of HIV/AIDS and reduction maternal mortality rate. To deal with the problem a number of strategies have been suggested mainly providing economic opportunities to young girls, promoting education of girls and using mass media to increase the awareness of the whole community about the consequences of early marriage on girls themselves, their family and on the community as a whole.





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Assistant lecturer in Department of Social Sciences,NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF RWANDA

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