Posted by / Sunday 14 August 2016 / No comments

The reasons for the abolishment of forced marriage in West Africa

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This is the system of marriage where young girls or teenage girls are engaged to men. Among the Akan, it is called ‘asiwa’. Also, early marriage is practiced in the northern parts of Ghana, where young girls are forced into marriage at very tender ages.

Teenage motherhood
One reason why this practice must be abolished is that the teenage mothers are not psychologically and physically ready for their role as wives. They are inexperienced and cannot take good care of their children when they are born.

Complications during birth
Another reason supporting the abolishing of the early marriage practice is that they are not physically matured to give birth. Their physical non-maturity sometimes results in complications during birth, which may lead to the death of the baby or mother or sometimes, the both of them.

Teenagers not ready for parenting roles
In most cases, teenage mothers are not physically and financially prepared to take up parenting roles. They are, therefore, unable to give proper care and maintenance to their children. Some of their children end up as street children, drug addicts, school drop outs, armed robbers, etc.

Many African countries are grappling with overpopulation. Early marriage leads to high birth rate leads to an increase in population which only aggravates the population problems of Ghana. Overpopulation may also lead to unemployment, poverty and other social vices.

Education of the girls is affected
Once the girls are married off betrothed earlier than they should have, they do not have the opportunity to go to school or finish when they are already in school. Consequently, they are unable to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to prepare them for the future. 
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