Too Young To Wed Essays Example
The documentary Too young to wed deals with the issue of child marriage in Africa and Middle East. The tradition of underage marriage is a part of their culture and has been practiced for centuries. However, the tradition should not be used as an excuse for entering into marriage community. Girls are doomed to experience sexual and physical abuse by their husbands and family whereas their peers in the Western culture enjoy in childhood. Young girls give birth to babies who will continue the tradition of underage marriage. In this way, the cycle of early marriage continues.
The first emotional reaction to the documentary is empathy and grief for the children who are forced into the world of adulthood against their will. It is unfair for a child to be forced in a marriage just because it is the way the things are done in this part of the world. The fear that these young girls have is so big that they set themselves on fire just because they did not do correctly some unimportant thing or because they accidentally broke something. In the documentary, Stephanie Sinclair explains the reason why Marzia set herself at fire. As cited by Sinclair, "She had set herself on fire, because she broke her husband’s television set" (Too young to wed). Another important aspect is lack in good educational network. Every child is entitled for at least elementary education. Even though parents want their children to go to school, schools are remote, a lot of money is needed for a parent to educate its child and infrastructure is poorly developed. As Stephanie Sinclair says, "the education is the key for decreasing underage marriage" (Too young to wed). At the beginning of the third millennium, when civilization's advancement has reached its peak, there are still parts of the world where an elementary education is out of reach. Every child is entitled for a carefree childhood, regardless of the part of the world where a child lives.
Even though the images of young girl marrying to people who are old enough to be their parents or grandparent are highly emotional and one cannot but ask questions how are underage marriages possible, it is essential not to condemn their culture. We need to understand the reasons for this tradition. Apart from tradition, I have learned that material position is also an important factor that contributes to early marriage. The majority of countries that practice underage marriage belong to developing countries. In developing countries the vast majority of population is living beyond the limits of poverty, and in many cases parents see a better life for their child if they marry her in a rich family.
There are also many other articles and documentaries that research this topic and try to understand the cultures where the practice of underage marriage exist. One of such articles is the article published in The Guardian, "After the wedding fear set in: a Yemeni child bride's story" written by Nabila Ramdani. This story depicts the struggle of a young woman who was married at the age of 11 and continually abused by her husband. Noora Al Shami describes the process of her marriage. The marriage ceremony seemed interesting and amusing, but it all changed after the ceremony. She was abused by her husband and eventually managed to escape from her marriage. Noora Al Shami understands that there are many factors that influence underage marriage including difficult material position, tradition, and rigid interpretation of religious rules. Noora Al Shami emphasizes that the only way to make a change is to change the culture that allows underage marriage.
The images of children forced into marriage will haunt me for long. These girls are not aware of the gloomy future that awaits them but their sleepy eyes filled with bewilderment are pleading for one more day of childhood. Even though they do not realize that soon they will be taken from their homes and forced to give birth to children, they live in cultures where this is a "normal" phenomena. This is the way of life that they know how to lead and as long as the community does not realize that it is wrong to force a child too early into marriage things will not change.
Too young to wed by Sinclair, Stephanie and Gorney, Cynthia. Web. 3. February 2015. http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/ng-live/sinclairgorney-lecture-nglive
Ramdani, Nabila. "After the wedding fear set in: a Yemeni child bride's story". The Guardian. 1. October 2013. Web. 3. February 2015. http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/oct/01/story-yemen-child-bride