A Possible Way to Stop Child Marriages

Again, no pictures due to the severity of the story. Instead, a link. Child brides are no longer just in demand, their number is rising. The country in question is Bangladesh, but little girls in other countries don’t fare too much better. The reason? Money: owing it, not having it, needing to pay it in the form of a dowry. 

This is, of course, a very simplified version of what’s really going on. In order to really comprehend we’d have to look at the overall combination of socio-economically driven forces, religion, politics, history and culture. Religion always plays a role, a huge one, no matter which denomination you happen to identify with. And, of course, honor. Preserving your honor is always somehow at the heart of any matter. It’s why so many leaders are able to rouse their nations into wars. You deserve better, is the party line. Look at what they’ve done to your country. You must now rise to defend its honor, to preserve yours. 

The country is always either female, or – in countries which do not really use gender, such as Finland and Hungary – has female connotations. Why your honor is so heavily tied to preserving purity of the female body around you is such an important matter is a question well worth asking the fanatics. 

Education, and education of women at that, is of uttermost importance. It’s what drives any economy and advances it. And yet, in what we like to term Third World countries, we do previous little to advance the matter. We funnel money into a few organizations – some of which come under fire, others which try to do what they can where they can – and pretty much call it a day. 

Here’s a novel idea. If girls are a burden because they cost money, and money is at the heart of the matter, couldn’t we funnel that money into specially-created boarding schools for them, ensuring opportunities for higher education and jobs once they graduate? Not to pamper them, that would be condescending, but providing them with life skills, ensuring they’re equipped for the competition, and giving them a very fair chance to enter the market that way, armed with knowledge, given a fair shot at the education process. Companies could then also mold future employees in their perfect image. 

It’s (slightly) utopian, sure. But think about it this way, if we cover all the factors that drive parents into selling their daughters, would not a large percentage be okay with this solution, if we covered the cost, took the burden of feeding all those extra mouths for them, and even made sure the parents would have a pension plan in old age. Because those girls, due to cultural norms and expectations, are sure to help their parents in old age. And with the great jobs they have, those parents will be very comfortable. 

One can dream after all. 

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11 comments

    • Globally and wanting to help honestly, without the attitude of “these poor non-Europeans.” There are great people and idiots everywhere. The more places you look in, the more chances you have of getting the perfect fit for your company. But also pay them equally. That’s a whole other issue on top of that. Many “whole other issues” to look at.

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    • Personally I think that those who deliberately oppress others, just to kept them down should be punished. I can only give my outsider’s perspective. What I do know for sure is that poverty drives people to horrible things. And fanatical religion. My paternal grandmother was really religious I’m told. Women were meant to marry and produce lots of children. I think 16-18 was the preferred age for girls to get married.

      What I do know for sure is that two things are certain. Death, and in 9 cases out of 10 money will rule all of your decisions. I’m not defending it by any means. But even the liberal do-gooders are just looking at it from one angle. I don’t know what the answer is. Just that a lot of people are threatened by educated women. There’s more, obviously. Thanks for weighing in. Sad thing is, the ones who should be ashamed, really aren’t.

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  1. okay, let us take a bowl. Pour enough poverty, sprinkle a dash of Wahabi preaching and a dash of dearth of education. Do not forget absence of goodwill from government ( blame it on lesser funds) and age old patriarchy looming large of the behalf of society. You get this at the end!

    My grandmother got married at the age of 14, became a mother at the age of 16 and gave birth to 5 children. She also belonged to a refugee family that crossed border to come settle in an unknown territory and embraced it to be their own. She was the first to tell me the hypocrisy behind glorifying childbirth in countries like these.

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    • My question is, how do you justify / glorify that? For those who do, what is the reasoning? Because someone who wrote our holy book said / did so? The closest I can come to is in Christianity you have some fanatical sects that glorify having fifty million children. And, you know, Mary was fourteen when she gave birth, let’s do like her. 🙄 Probably not close to living in constant bondage like you would when you’re a child bride. Patriarchy and fanaticism do a lot of damage. But what goes through the mind of a man who marries a child? Do they get off on fear? Even see her as a human being with feelings? I know you can’t generalize. Some, I’m sure are pedophiles. Others, I’m sure can come up with other reasons.

      Here in Hungary it’s Catholicism. Family values. On the surface. They still hate anyone not Hungarian. But, you know, family.

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  2. I personally believe you have given a fantastic suggestion, Indian parents waste a lot of money to buy husbands for their daughters, if they use that money to give them a stable career husbands will come on their own! everyone loves a working woman!

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