Children Rights: Child Marriage IN Chad By: Kevin Hu

Why Child Marriage is a Civil Rights Issue

A child bride carrying her child

Child marriage has been a problem for a long time, especially in Chad, Africa. It’s become a tradition for some families and communities, and it is cruel to women. It is a serious Civil Rights issue because it takes away girls’ dreams and has a high rate.

According to Badre Bahaji, “For one 15-year-old in Chad, the hope of an education and career was all but lost when her family married her off at age 12.” (In Chad, girls’ dreams robbed by marriage).

Clearly, child marriage is a Civil Rights issue because it took away the girl’s dreams of ever achieving anything she wanted.

In another article, it says, “Chad has the third highest rate of child marriage in the world-68% of girls are married off as children…” (Child Marriage in Chad).

Based off this information, Chad is one of the leading countries that marry their children off, as 68% of the girls in their country are sold to other men to marry. Therefore, child marriage is a severe Civil Rights issue.

Similarities Between Child Marriage and the Civil Rights Movement

Child marriage is similar to the segregation during the Civil Rights Movement in many ways, but the most significant were that they both only affected a certain group of people, and they both took away Civil Rights. During the Civil Rights Movement, an event that sparked hope to African Americans was the Little Rock Nine. It was an event devised by Elizabeth Eckford to integrate schools. One day, nine African Americans led by Eckford walked into a white only school, only to be met with threats from the whites. But the president, Lyndon B. Johnson, sent national guards to be bodyguards for the blacks, and bring the blacks into the school. Soon enough, schools were integrated.

According to Brian Krummer, “An angry mob had gathered outside the school. Protesters screamed and threatened a small group of black students.” (P. 4, Little Rock Nine)
In Chad, similarly, according to an article, “Each year, 15 million girls are married before the age of 18. That is 28 girls every minute. 1 every 2 seconds.” (About Child Marriage)

Clearly, child marriage was similar to the Civil Rights Movement because during the Civil Rights Movement, people only targeted people who weren’t white. Child marriage only targeted women, and it hurt both of those groups, taking away opportunities and dreams. Another reason child marriage was similar to the Civil Rights Movement was because it took away civil rights.

In an article, it says, “Child marriage is a serious human rights violation affecting children and women’s rights to health, education, equality, non-discrimination and to live free from violence and exploitation.” (Child Marriage and the Law)
In another article, it says, “Here are some examples of the rights that were taken away from them: they couldn't drink out of the same fountains, couldn't go to same restaurants, couldn't attend the same schools, couldn't ride in same sections of buses, they couldn't even wear their hair in ways they wanted to, or sometimes walk on the same sidewalks.” (wikispaces)

Clearly, child marriage is similar to the Civil Rights Movement because child marriage deprived women of many civil rights such as education, health, and equality. The segregation during the Civil Rights Movement took away education, transportation, equality, and more. Therefore, child marriage is similar to the segregation during the Civil Rights Movement in many ways, but the most significant were that they both only affected a certain group of people, and they both took away Civil Rights.

Differences Between Child Marriage and the Civil Rights Movement

Child marriage was different to the Civil Rights Movement because child marriage didn’t segregate anyone while the civil Rights Movement segregated blacks from whites, and it was fueled by poverty while the Civil Rights Movement was fueled by racial discrimination and prejudice.

In an article by the Human Rights Watch, it says, “The UN Independent expert on the right to water and sanitation has noted that where schools do not have sex-segregated toilets, girls often drop out of school, notably at the age of menstruation.” (Our Time to Sing and Play)
In another article in an online encyclopedia, it says, “They segregated whites and blacks in education, housing, and the use of public and private facilities such as restaurants, trains, and rest rooms; they also denied blacks the right to vote, to move freely, and to marry whites.” (Facts on the Civil Rights Movement)

Clearly, child marriage was also different to the Civil Rights Movement because child marriage didn’t separate anyone, while the Civil Rights Movement had blacks segregated from whites. Therefore, child marriage was different to the Civil Rights Movement because it didn't separate a group from another.

Another reason child marriage was different was that it was fueled by poverty while slavery was fueled by racial discrimination.

In an article, it says, “Child marriage is a complex issue. Poverty, lack of education, cultural practices, and insecurity fuel and sustain the practice.” (Why Does Child Marriage Happen?)
In another article, it says “Their goal was to urge the government to take action against racial discrimination and segregation.” (Civil Rights Movement)

Based off the information, child marriage was different because it was supported by poverty, cultural practices, and others. On the contrary, racism in the Civil Rights Movement were caused by prejudice and racial discrimination. Therefore, child marriage is different compared to the Civil Rights Movement because it didn’t segregate anyone and it was fueled by poverty.

Ways We Can End Child Marriage

Ways we can end child marriage is by empowering girls and mobilising families and communities.

According to an article written by an organization trying to end child marriage, Girls Not Brides, says, “Working directly with girls to give them the opportunity to build skills and knowledge, understand and exercise their rights and develop support networks, is an important part of our efforts to end child marriage.” (How Can We End Child Marriage?).
In another article written by Girls Not Brides, they say, “Many families and communities see child marriage as a deeply rooted practice which has been part of their culture for generations...For change to happen, the values and norms which support the practice of child marriage need to shift.” (How Can We End Child Marriage?)

Clearly, these ways can help end childhood as they can end this practice as a tradition and give girls more power and learn to defend themselves from child marriage. Therefore, ways we can end child marriage is by empowering girls and mobilizing families and communities.

Works Cited

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