Community Update

World Pulse Toolkits Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits are all available here.

We are especially excited to share our signature Citizen Journalism and Digital Empowerment Curriculum. Start learning today!

CHILD BRIDES

Imagine a young girl, around the age of nine years old, living in Africa. She is lucky to have been attending school for a few years now. She has never left her village and cannot even begin to imagine the extent of the enormous world surrounding her. Her mother must stay home in order to care for the countless other children in her family, and her father loses his job and all source of income. This young girl’s family becomes extremely poor and can barely afford to eat. She must drop out of school. Her father soon announces that she is to be married off to a man four times her age, as she can lead a better life with him. The little girl cries and objects to this arranged marriage, but nothing will change her father’s mind. The deal is done, the money paid. The girl’s father made a tremendous amount of money, just enough to fill the rest of his family’s bellies. Everyone’s belly that is, except his nine year old daughter’s. In exchange for the money, he gives up his daughter. He now has one less mouth to feed, one less education to pay for. She is nothing but an object to him. The wedding takes places that very night, hidden in darkness. Laws have been broken, but the marriage is official. They are husband and wife. At just nine years old she is married. The newly wed groom has promised his bride’s father that he would not touch her until after she reached puberty, but of course he does not keep his word. Later that night, he rapes the nine-year-old girl, and continues to do so through the night, despite her screams and protests. Nobody is there to rescue her; her in-laws even encourage the groom’s unbelievable actions. Nobody prevents the man from hurting the girl. This continues for many years. The girl is all alone. She lives in a new village, far from her family or any sort of modern civilization. There is nobody for this child to befriend, there are no other children to play with, nobody to teach her how to protect herself. She endures the usual, treacherous nights of sexual abuse, and at her refusals, the violence. She cannot even remember how many times he has harmed her. There are far too many to remember. Forced to do housework and laborious outdoor chores, forbidden to leave the yard, this girl is an outcast. At the age of thirteen, the girl realizes she is pregnant with her first child. Due to malnourishment and further beatings, she suffers a miscarriage. This only results in more pain. Three months later, she is pregnant yet again. The pregnancy is difficult, but the birth even more so. The baby girl is born prematurely and is unhealthy. The baby dies within a year. At the age of fifteen, the girl gives birth to a boy, enduring days of labour alone. Both survive, but barely. No medical services are present. It is unheard of in these places to have birthing assistance. Unknowingly, both the baby and the mother have HIV. The young mother also has fistula. Her body was not mature enough to have a baby. She is unable to control her bladder and as a side effect, the nerves in her left foot have been damaged. The young mother smells so bad that her husband soon kicks her out. She must take the baby with her. She makes her way to the village centre, a place she has rarely visited. She limps there, leaking. Nobody in the village pays her any mind. She is not an abnormality there. Numerous young mothers wander the village with their children, searching for help that will never arrive. They all have the stone cold, hard, too young to have been married look in their eyes. They have all experienced things well beyond anyone’s years. They have seen sights too horrific for anyone’s eyes. Nobody should have to go through what they have. The girl searches for people she knows, but she has no friends. She searches for medical aid, but there is none. She tries to find a job, but no employer wants an uneducated, smelly worker with a young child requiring care. She must fend for herself and care for her baby at the same time. It is impossible. She goes insane. She is in intense pain and is starving. Her baby will not stop crying. Nobody stops to help her. Nobody pays her any attention until they remove her dead body from the street. Her baby is placed in an unsanitary orphanage but soon dies from infection. This is the end for both of them. This is the sad but true story of countless young girls across our planet

Comments

kind3500's picture

This is an example of the

This is an example of the life of a child bride...there are various reasons to marry a young girl off, and not all child brides' stories are anything like this one, however I wrote this for my report on child brides and wanted to share it. I understand that there is reasoning to force young girls to marry, but I am determined to help end this tradition and stand up for women's and children's rights.

Kindersley

fidelity's picture

CHILD BRIDES

Kindersley,
congrats for the good work and your determination to end this kind of "abuse". this is a very common practice in Africa an particularly in my own country Kenya. you need to hear stories and see reality of the of the matter. if you ever wish to have a first hand experience we can help you. surely we need to end this kind of oppression among the women and children. it is a denial of their rights.
keep up the good work
fidelis

fidelis

kind3500's picture

Child Brides-Response

Thank you very much for your feedback! I am glad that my work and opinions could be shared and viewed in such a global manner. I am in total agreement that the oppression of women and children must end. Again, I am very interested in helping and gaining experiences. it is my dream that one day women and children have equal rights worldwide. please let me know what it is that I can do to help this situation. Thank you!
Kindersley

Kindersley

Nakinti's picture

Thank you Kindersley!

Thank u so much Kindersley for raising your voice against such salient issue. Cameroon is not left out as far as this issue is concerned. I wish such inhumanity change some day. Lets all take up the challenge an act as ambassadors of this good course; fighting to end child abuse.
Thanks honey.

Nakinti B. Nofuru
2013 VOF Correspondent
Reporter for Global Press Institute
Bamenda - Cameroon
Email: nakinti@globalpressinstitute.org
nakintin@yahoo.com

kind3500's picture

Thank you too!

Thank you for your nice comment! It makes me glad that there are others out there too who feel as passionate about this issue as I do! i am looking forward to a future free from child abuse and such inhumane actions. Thanks again,
Kindersley

Kindersley

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Letters to a Better World

Letters to a Better World

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

womenspace's picture

CAMBODIA: Ordinary Women Can Make a Difference

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative