According to UNICEF, child marriage, defined as a formal marriage or informal union before age 18, is a reality for both boys and girls, although girls are disproportionately the most affected. Child marriage is widespread and can lead to a lifetime of disadvantage and deprivation. Most of this happen around developing world countries and it happens for few result such as poverty, lack of education, cultural practices, and insecurity fuel and sustains the practice.
Chad, Niger, Central African Republic, Mali and Somalia have the highest number of child marriages, especially among girls. It cannot be denied that child marriage issues are complex. Child brides are at greater risk of experiencing dangerous complications in pregnancy and childbirth, contracting HIV/AIDS and suffering domestic violence.
This article had sparked my interest from Thomas Hobbes, a 1600’s English philosopher who studies the concept of a social contract. In class, we were being introduced that social theory is an implicit agreement among the members of a society to cooperate for social benefits, for example by sacrificing some individual freedom for state protection. However, in this particular article, the government of the countries failed to provide protection and needs for children.
Most of the countries that involved are anarchy government. According to Hobbes, the State of Nature that involved with anarchy makes life “poor, nasty, brutish and short” which this can be related to protection and basic need for children life. With the government did not provide education to the children and they family can’t support them who should they asked for help?
Besides that, child marriage that communities practised normally does not valued girls compared to the boy. Girls are often seen as a burden on their family. Marrying your daughter at a young age can be viewed as a way to ease economic hardship by transferring this ‘burden’ to her husband’s family. This could also relate to John Rawls’ Justice as Fairness’ where he discusses bout the “veil of ignorance,” which is a hypothetical mechanism that would filter out accidental or inherent biases when deciding what is just and unjust. Do the parents be biased? Well, yes but it just because of they uneducated. What if they are educated. Would this happen? It won’t.