Issues of stopping child marriage

A blog post on child marriage and how to end it

Emmanuela Khalil Yousif, 16 years old
A girl looking into the camera
UNICEFSouthSudan/Ryeng
30 September 2020

Child marriage is violence and exploitation.

It is deadly, as a child might die in labor because her body is not ready for birth of a child. Where child marriage is prevalent, so is maternal mortality. According to the international women’s health coalition, girls under 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their twenties and they face a higher risk of pregnancy related injuries

It stops girls from accessing education. When a girl gets married, she is expected to drop out of school, and she is not likely to return.

It affects all the other goals too; achieving gender equality is consistently highlighted as being fundamental to achieving so many other of the global goals as well

It is linked to the issue of boyfriend. I am saying it like this because boys are one of the causes. They say ‘walai honey, I’m not sleeping because of you’. From that day, the girl will say I’m going to be the wife of this boy.

If you have your own vision and mission, the issues if child marriage will stop.

Emmanuela Khalil Yousif, 16 years old

We have to advise girls and give them what they need, such as underwear.

Let me give you some examples. I have a younger sister. Every day she used to ask me; “Emman, how can we stop the issue of child marriage?” I used to tell her; we will stop it by reading hard and also for those who don’t go to school in this world. Every pain gives a lesson and every lesson changes a person.

If you want to end child marriage, we have to change how the female bodies are seen. For example, here in South Sudan there are some girls and when they see their friends with new clothes, they would admire it and they will say “ok, let me go to my boyfriend.” Then she will go to the boyfriend and ask for money and the boyfriend will say he will only give money if she is doing something for him.

If you have your own vision and mission, the issues if child marriage will stop. If you follow your dreams, you will be an example to the world. If you hear me my beloved sisters, you will be the first to end child marriage.