Early marriages in Uganda are defined as the customary union of a boy or girl under the age of 18 years old. It is one community challenge that triggers off several consequences like illiteracy, early pregnancies and poverty. It is an act of child abuse and women oppression.
Unfortunately, early marriages in Uganda have been going on without any serious efforts of stopping them. It even gets worse in the remote villages of Uganda where it is the formula, for every girl who develops breasts has to get married. Some girls have interfaced with marriage even before having their first menstruation periods; too bad!
In the towns, early marriages are still less because almost all children go to school, even if not good schools, but at least they study. This helps to keep the young girls busy, shaping them for a better future and distracting them from the community pressures of marriage.
But woe unto the poor village girl, who doesn’t go to school, all she knows is to wake up very early in the morning, go to the field for gardening, do house chores like cooking, cleaning the home and washing clothes. All her lifetime is only taught how to take care of a home, definitely her thinking will also be shaped for marriage all the time.
Making it worse, once a girl develops breasts, she is taken to the aunt’s place for marriage training. Here she is taught different cultural rituals, how to behave with the husband, how to handle the family members and all the dos and don’ts of a house wife, imagine imparting such information a small head of an eleven year old girl.
The biggest challenges that girls have faced can be summed into early marriages in Uganda. This act has stopped several girls from going to school, sexual abuse, early pregnancies, and loose self-esteem.
The fact that some parents in Uganda see their daughters only as a source of wealth from the dowry, the more the girl takes long without getting married, the longer his wealth delays, sadly, some primitive parents in the deep villages can give in their young daughters just because they have been offered two bottles of alcohol.
In countless communities, forcing a young boy of 15 years, to marry a girl of thirteen is so normal, it is something that openly goes on each and every day because it’s their culture.
Maybe this is done out of ignorance or primitiveness, but whatever the cause is, no girl deserves to face early marriages in Uganda. A world should be a place that provides at least equal opportunities to all children in order to brighten up their future.
We should all stand as one team and campaign against early marriages in Uganda. Let’s sensitize masses of people in the villages and tell them the consequences of early marriages especially to the young girls. Let’s educate more girls, that way we shall be empowering the girl child for a brighter future. Choose to sponsor one child in Uganda to change lives and empower the next generation.