Derin Otegbola -EMHF Program Co-ordinator
Matters Arising – #childbride Cont’d
New International Version (NIV)
Children are a heritage from the Lord,offspring a reward from him.Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth.
8 year old Bride dies on her wedding night
An eight year old bride in Yemen died from internal injuries on her wedding night, bleeding to death after deep vaginal tearing caused by sex with her 40 year old husband.
The girl, identified only by the name Rawan, died in Hardh in the governorate of Hajjah in northwestern Yemen, according to a report issued by UPI on Sunday, Sept. 8.
Activists in the region want to put an end to the practice of marrying young girls, and have called for police to arrest the girl’s husband and family. Nevertheless, the forced marriage of child brides in Yemen remains a socially accepted custom in many rural areas.
Indeed, the practice has deep cultural and religious roots, and is widespread in Yemen. A February 2009 law set the minimum age for marriage at 17, but it was repealed after some conservative lawmakers called it un-Islamic.
In particular, a prominent Islamic cleric, Abdulmajeed al-Zindani, issued a fatwa in support of the practice, declaring supporters of a ban on child brides to be apostates, and ultimately leading a successful campaign against legislation that would prevent adult men from marrying children.(http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/09/09/1237563/-8-year-old-Bride-dies-on-her-wedding-night)
What are the consequences of child marriage?
When a child bride is married she is likely to be forced into sexual activity with her husband, and at an age where the bride is not physically and sexually mature this has severe health consequences.
Child brides are likely to become pregnant at an early age and there is a strong correlation between the age of a mother and maternal mortality. Girls ages l0-14 are five times more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than women aged 20-24 and girls aged 15-19 are twice as likely to die. Young mothers face higher risks during pregnancies including complications such as heavy bleeding, fistula, infection, anaemia, and eclampsia which contribute to higher mortality rates of both mother and child.
Child Marriage also has considerable implications for the social development of child brides, in terms of low levels of education, poor health and lack of agency and personal autonomy.
Psychological and social consequences
It is a huge responsibility for a young girl to become a wife and mother and because girls are not adequately prepared for these roles this heavy burden has a serious impact on their psychological welfare, their perceptions of themselves and also their relationship.
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What you can do about the child marriage issue:
- Pray!Pray!Pray against this kind of perversion.The devil is at work and we seem to hear so many recent news of child abuse.Please pray and pray hard!
- Pray that the love of Jesus Christ will be strongly felt in the tender hearts of these young girls
- Harness every possible means to oppose this ill-fated effort to dehumanize the girl-child.