Early Marriage Kills Children’s Dreams and Hope

Editor’s note: Today we launch an occasional blog series by children and youth enrolled in ChildFund programs around the world. When we listen to children, we find they have so much to tell us. Their voices shape our work.

by Yabetse, age 11, Ethiopia

My drawing explains how a girl is being forced to get married early by her father. Not only is she getting married early, but she is also getting married to someone she doesn’t even know. Most of the time there is a big age gap.

Fighting against early marriage: Yabetse, grade 6, explains his drawing.

The girl is crying because she wants to continue her school and she is too young to be married. But her father is forcing her to be happy because he supports the marriage. The girl’s mother is not happy for her daughter’s early marriage, but she can’t say much as the head of the house is the father and he decides.

In the boy’s family, the father is not happy that his son is getting married, forcing someone into his life without her will. But the son is not paying attention to the father’s advice and guidance. His mom is happy that her son is getting married.

My drawing shows how our parents [don’t see] the danger in early marriage. They are not paying attention to the problem which will come with it — their children will be forced to stop school and be forced to take big responsibility which they can’t handle.

I want to educate the community and society through my drawing that children shouldn’t be forced into early marriage before they are mentally and physically ready, and finishing education. Our dreams and hope will be shattered because of early marriage.

One response to “Early Marriage Kills Children’s Dreams and Hope

  1. When I read the headline of this article, I thought it was going to be about the difficulties that children of young parents face. My heart sank as I realized you’re talking about children marrying while THEY are still children. Those of us lucky enough to be born into (relative) wealth, comfort and freedom can easily forget that so many less fortunate face hardships that we can barely imagine. Thank you for this reminder, and for giving a megaphone to the voices of these children who need so desperately to be heard.