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Essay: Child Marriage: Is It Slavery or Tradition? The Debate: Is Child Marriage Slavery or Tradition?

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  • Published: 1 April 2019*
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  • Words: 1,481 (approx)
  • Number of pages: 6 (approx)
  • Tags: Slavery essays

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As most of us are aware that child marriage is still happening in multiple country, as a type of tradition. Child marriage also happens in some country but isn’t due to tradition but is because of poverty or war. But some says that child marriage is a kind of slavery, in another case some doesn’t agree with it, as they have perform the act for a long time, and it’s a tradition for them. But there are some thats being kidnapped or forced into marriage which cause this topic to have lot’s of different kind of respond. In this research, i would like to have a further research about this topic and should child marriage be categorized under child slavery.

Global perspective

According to the organisation Girls Not Bride, 15 million girls are married before they turn 18 each year, which is 28 girls per minute and one every 2 seconds. In most cases, they are still young and vulnerable which means they do not know what is ahead of them in child marriage, they have to give up their education to serve the family, but not many know that rape and abuse will be committed after their marriage. Research show that child bride are at risk of their life because they might die from pregnancy, childbirth or HIV.


According to girls not bride, india is one of the top child marriage country with the average of 12 million children that are married before the age of 10, with the average of 7.84 million are females. This happens because girls are seen as a burden in the poor household, that’s why they are eager to marry off their daughter during their most vulnerable age, so they would not fight back, this is to reduce the cost they have to spend in the household. Less people = less expenses. Reports found that the level of teen pregnancy is 9 times higher in the rural area, due to lack to education. Most household marry off their girls in their young age or when they firstly hit puberty, is because the parents are afraid that  they would get rape and unable to be married. Most of these marriages are held in private of late at night, because it’s illegal, the legal age when from 12 to 18 now. Parents often lie about their children age so that they would not get arrested, that is why outsiders are mostly not allowed, this include no filming or taking photos.


Although Ethiopia legal age for marriage is 18 but according to Girls not Bride, Ethiopia is rank 14 for child marriage, every 1 in 5 girls get married before their 15 birthday. Most of them went through Female Genital mutilation (FGM), this is an indication that the girl have reached puberty and is becoming a woman. Many household practice this tradition one is to please their husband and to ensure that they won’t have sexual pleasure with others except their husband. FGM is also to keep the girl ‘ pure’ until she get married so they won’t have the risk to get rape and not be able to get a husband. In Ethiopia, marriage is treated like a trade, they bride family trade away their daughter to the groom’s family in order for money, because of poverty, they are forced to ‘sell’ away their daughter. Muslim in ethiopia claim that it’s because of their religion. Many Child bride in Ethiopia are kidnapped and forced into marriage, many of them keep quiet because they will get beaten by their captor because ‘ good woman never speak such things’. Many are kipande and and rape before their marriage, so that they will have to serve them forever, many are forced into marriage because they are not a virgin anymore. But their life just get miserable after their marriage, they get beaten, rape or die because of teen birth. According to some interview, man that kidnape and raped their wife think that their behavior is not wrong and it’s a tradition and ain’t ashamed about it, they claimed that girls have to obey them after their marriage and that they love it, and they think that child bride kidnaping should not be illegal.


As we know, Yemen is facing war now, with this in hand child marriage increases drastically, parents marry off their daughter at young age to protect them so they won’t get harass or rape. A lot of families are also poor in yemen and couldn’t support their children to go to school, so they transfer their ‘burden’ to another family by marrying them off. As there is no age limit for marriage, so girls as young as 8 could be a bride, there’s some case on abusive household that the child die because their body couldn’t handle pregnancy.

I think that child marriage in those country is counted as child slavery but the people there think that it is a culture and tradition and do not see it as child slavery.

National perspective

As I am living in malaysia, the age for marriage is 16 for muslims but under certain consequence, some are allow to be marriage at a younger age if they are approved by the court. Recently in malaysia, a MP said that it’s okay for a rape victim to marry their rapist even if they are as young as 9 years old as long as they reached puberty. Many married their victim to avoid the consequences of raping the girl because marital rape/sex is not illegal in malaysia, for example, recently a father married off his 14 year old daughter because he raped her and she got pregnant, therefore he married off his daughter to avoid the consequences with the approval of the court. therefore  I think that child marriage is a kind of slavery because they are held without their approval just like slaves.

Personal perspective

According to my research, 95% of people doesn’t know that child marriage happen around us, due to pregnancy or other circumstances but some people that are married off at 16 due to pregnancy doesn’t think that it’s a kind of slavery because they ain’t rape and they are happy with their kid and their partner. According to my research I think that the age for marriage should be above 21 for both gender because by then they will have a degree and they will have a stable job/income to support the family, in addition they will be able to make their own decision and will be able to contact the police or support themselves if anything goes wrong.  I think that in some country child marriages is considered as child slavery as they are forced against their will to have sexual intercost with result to rape and they are forced to take care of a family at a young age without any income while some are being abused, with is what a slave goes through.

Possible scenarios and Courses of actions

Possible scenarios

If child marriage continues, death rate will increase because girls that give birth at a young age is 5 times more likely to pass away than a fully grown woman, therefore it’s likely that the population of woman will decrease so there will be a lower birth rate in that country.

Causes of actions

As there’s more and more organisation rises, is to help to resolve child marriage by giving education to the less fortunate kids that are in a country that is currently facing war, or refugees that flee their countries. By educating these childrens, they will be able to get a job to support themselves to decrease the numbers of child marriage per year.


Possible scenarios

As children are married off at a young age due to traditions or culture, they would not have the skills to have a good job, this could lead to the poor economy in the country as people could only be farmers or other jobs that doesn’t require a high education so the country will be stuck in the third world country and not be able to have a better economy if the number of child marriage doesn’t decrease.

Causes of actions

In order to overcome this, children must graduate from high school so they will have a good job that might be able to raise the economy of the country. Beside a good education for the children, they must also be educate them about the side effect of child marriage and child pregnancy, so that the tradition will stop as they are educated and they know what’s the right thing to do in the future which could potentially decrease the number of child marriage and a higher number of educated children in the country to raise the economy and improve the living in the country.

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