I am asking at what age should women, not girls but women get married? I ask the question because the more i see, the more i question. I was reading the morning news as usual and I noticed that Nigeria’s incoming first lady has asked that girls no younger than 18 essentially shouldn’t be considered for marriage. I have a few thoughts following my reading the article..not directed to her per say, but just my thoughts.
Girls need to at least finish secondary school first -her primary position. Under the current Nigerian constitution i do not believe there is a marriage age – correct me if i am wrong, but it is said that once a girl sees her first menstrual period – she becomes a woman. I dispute this categorization obviously, because it is simply the beginning of blossoming into a woman. A 10 year old is not by any standards a woman – not emotionally, not psychologically and not physically either.
Please what is the allure for marrying a 12 year old? There are many 18 year old virgins, so why aren’t these people willing to wait? Culturally in Nigeria, it is mostly the Northerners that marry girls under 16. What is the significance of a young wife? Is it prescribed by Islam? I ask because i don’t know of any Yoruba Muslims that marry off their daughters at 12. Is the bride price significant enough for you to put your child at risk of a plethora of health problems such as Fistulas or even death?
Do people not understand that for every disadvantaged woman or mother, you have more disadvantaged children? A mother who doesn’t know better cannot teach her children any better. I once heard from the founder of LAPO “for every poor man, there is a poorer wife and even poorer children”- because most times the mother is generally responsible for the well being and education of her children – not necessarily from a financial standpoint even, but daily care and influence. It is likely your mother was more involved in your daily life than your father as a child. I know that was the case for my siblings and I.
Given the level of poverty in Nigeria on the whole, does an empowered woman not make for a better spouse or partner?
I commend Mrs. Buhari for speaking up, there should be clear boundaries for marriage in terms of age. Eighteen – albeit a bit young is the legal age of adulthood generally accepted globally. It gives girls a chance to be better educated and be better able to serve themselves and their families.
Now lets just hope the new National Assembly members have not been busy marrying 13 year olds, and they can pass this into law soonest.
The Western World has also done a lot of hammering on the Girl Child in places like Northern Nigeria, did you know we have a boy child problem in Eastern Nigeria? This is conversation for another day….
What are your thoughts on the legal marriage age for Nigerian women? For me, i would not advise my female child to get married before 28, however if she chooses to, i can only pray for her and wish her the best. Forget about the biological clock argument, there are ways around that – its an issue of maturity and ownership of her woman hood and growing into herself. It also gives her a chance to make career decisions if she so chooses. Marriage is a long term commitment, i got married in my early 30’s and i can imagine if my husband and I live till we are 90, that’s 60 years tied to the same person… its a very long time if you ask me.
The giveaway for the week is an Insignia flex 10.1 tablet- 16GB.
Please note the community member with the highest number of comments in total for the week – on all the posts from 11 May 2015 t0 16 May midnight wins the tablet as pictured above. Good luck to everyone. Item will be picked up either in Ikoyi or Victoria Island or Lagos Island by the winner.