By 2020, worldwide, 142 million young girls will be forced in child marriage. It is reported that one girl under 15 years of age is married every 7 seconds. The origins of child marriage are multidimensional. However, in sub-Saharan Africa poverty plays a significant role. Parents will receive a bride price, when a girl is married. Often the price is paid in cows. Consequently, the earlier the child marriage takes place, the better for the family.
Child Marriage is still rampant in the country of Kenya especially among the rural communities. Both girls and boys are affected. However, girls are more affected due to cultural and socio-economic factors. Last year, one not-for-profit organisation reported they rescued more than 1,000 Kenyan girls from forced marriages and harmful cultural practises.
Child marriage is a human rights violation. It separates them from their friends and family. It puts them in harm’s way and deprives them of an education. Some young brides are so distraught they attempt to take their own lives. In some instances, girls are being married at 9, 10 and 11 years of age.
Girls that are forced to be child brides too young are prone to domestic violence and sexual abuse. Child marriage invariably compromises a young girls physical and psychological development. Recent studies show that child marriage is a leading cause of maternal morbidity.