Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Special needs for this age group of 18-24 yrs to fight against Child Marriage

The primary and the most important need for this age group are to free them from slavery, sexual harassment and duties. Education, awareness, economic stability and voice to address their requirement is the need of this hour.

Family stability is another big requirement. In rural India, a drunkard father and a hard working mother who works to earn money and run the household is a ritual. For all we would know, the mother has been a child bride who had been forced into slavery from the very early age and she still continues to do so.

A society of hungry and intoxicated male is also another reason to encourage child marriage in rural India.  While the girls are married off to save them from harassment, rape and pre-marital sexual exposure, the boys are married off to be prevented from intoxication and surrender to pre-marital sex and rape. As the circle of this toxic system goes round and round, we boil down to the need of this moment to be more of socio-economic than anything.

Children are to be educated, so that they learn what is good and what is not. These educated children would address and voice out to the senior and uneducated surrounding society of theirs. They would learn to be more human being and less of domestic being. Education would encourage economic stability in the household and thereby employment would be created. More the employment, more number of men would go to work and share equal financial and social responsibility.

When daughters would be pushed into child marriage, they would talk to their parents about their needs. They will be able to educate their parents about their learning. When a community will gradually come in term with a safe, accessible, quality schooling which will eventually create opportunities for girls to be self sufficient, earn an income and be someone more than a domestic being in the household, it is hard for parents to imagine an impractical alternative of a child marriage

It has been found that over the past 20 years, rates of child marriage in south Asia have declined for girls of 14 and under, yet marriage rates for older girls remain static. To put an end to child marriage, we need to combine work at the local and community levels with efforts to improve broader structural factors, such as access to quality education and more stable economic condition in the family by creating employment and enabling the parents with do’s and don’t of the socio-economic structure. Finally, as the circle comes back to where we had started, the need for this age group is definitely education and knowledge.

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