SOS: Child Marriage

August 5, 2010
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I am not entirely sure if I am allowed to write about this, given the heavy censorship in the region I live in, but as it is a social topic that I know many people feel very strongly about, I will take the risk.
Child marriage, a social issue that a surprising number of people link only to underdeveloped nations like India, is very blatantly visible even in the highly developed countries of the Middle East, needless to say, for females only. There are many tales which reach mouth and ear but not eyes about very young girls, about seventeen years of age, getting married to men who are triple that number. Sixteen or seventeen is, in fact, considered much past the marriageable age in certain regions of the Arab World. According to the traditional trend, the moment a girl reaches puberty is the moment her father starts the hunt for a taker for the commodity of a young wife. Indeed, the father is paid a handsome sum for the daughter, which makes it little more than a commercial deal, the fate of a girl too young to actually fully comprehend the responsibilities her new marital status entails. Not just responsibilities, but also the restrictions that constitute her life from that moment.
Of course, boys are excepted from this ordeal. What sort of a boy gets married before getting through school, college and a master’s course? And what sort of a girl completes her education to her satisfaction? What is even the point in that, when all she will get to do in her life is mundanely follow basic orders to take care of her household, so that one day she wouldn’t even need her brain to work to get through the day?
Because that is what happens. When a young girl gets married, eventually the thirst for knowledge, the inquisitiveness that drives a youthful mind dies out, so that her world becomes the house, the life in which she has been imprisoned. Besides the havoc that is played on her body, her mind is destroyed: it becomes a machine that has not been given enough time to get developed. Her intellectual abilities become limited to beautifying herself, for shopping and gossip become the only occupations of a woman who has gotten married to a wealthy man. And in the Arab world, the definition of ‘wealthy’ is much higher than should be practically normal.
The worst happens when a young girl becomes the third or fourth wife of a man, who is correspondingly much older than her. What sort of mess would her life be in, to find out that she has step-children who happen to be older than her? But of course, her brain is made to shut down before she can think too much about it.
There is no constitutional remedy to this problem, nor are women given any kind of authority, any chance to take control and decide for themselves for once. Little has changed for so many years, and unless some sort of a revolution occurs, which is highly unlikely, things will remain as they are for many years to come.
I realise that I can’t do much about the situation. Hardly anybody can. But I choose to pass on the message in some way, for suppressing the screams of the tortured makes us torturers as well.





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DungeonDweller said...
Sept. 24, 2010 at 12:00 pm
And the worst part is, even if you wanted to do something about it, the person in question doesn't want you to. Dayum. Selflessness can be so obnoxious.
 
DungeonDweller replied...
Sept. 24, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Chitra, you're creeping me out now. I have a post with the same title on MY blog :O

Dear lord, please tell me it's just a crazy coincidence. 

 
DreamingOutLoud This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 24, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Oh, right, I've read that...=O

That is scary.

As for the selflessness.....I'm just really glad I haven't seen it happen to anyone I know.

 
AmanAhuja said...
Sept. 13, 2010 at 12:23 pm

I would have to disagree about the age of seventeen thing. I once read about a girl who was ten and divorced:( In Yemen.

But this is amazing!

 
AmanAhuja replied...
Sept. 13, 2010 at 12:25 pm
PS: You really thought that there is equality here? =O There is no equality anywhere! Even if there are laws that state equality as the basic right, they don't actually practise it. If they do, they aren't happy about it.
 
DreamingOutLoud This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Sept. 14, 2010 at 6:52 am

Yeah, like I said, I was foolish.

Thanks, though.

 
Tess said...
Sept. 13, 2010 at 6:42 am
tht was pretty strong for somethin that short ... thts talent
 
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