The Child Bride Saga Continues
In 2013, the child bride petition tagged #ChildNotBride was initiated and there were protests in major parts on Nigeria, most evidently in states like Lagos, Abuja, Ondo, Port Harcourt, Kaduna and Ogun. A petition with the aim to register the grouse with the law which allows female minors to be married off to older males. In 2013, senator Yerima sponsored a bill in the Nigerian Senate that would recognise child brides as adults.
Despite the uproar, the plea to empathy, reasoning logically and medical reasons of the masses, it seems that the child bride saga continues.
Baba Ahmed on Sunday January 17th,2016 paid the bride price of an 8 year old gold in Zaria, Kaduna according to Linda Ikeji, she won’t be moving into his house until she is 17 years old.
Last year,14 year-old bride, Wasila Tasi’u from Gaya L.G.A, in Kano state, resolved to killing her husband and his guests and was charged before a Rijiyar Zaki Magistrates Court in Kano for alleged culpable homicide. She confessed to poisoning her 35 year-old husband,Umar Sani’s meal with rat poison, and she committed the offence because she did not love her husband and was forced to marry him. The charges were dropped as the case got reactions from activists who stated Wasila was the victim of child marriage.
In India, Santadevi Meghwal, 19, from Jodhpur, fought her way to annul her marriage, apparently she has been married since she was 11 months to a Saanval Ram who was 9 years old at the time of their wedding.The Family Court on October 21st, 2015 annulled her marriage.
The stories of child brides in the country and internationally have not ceased and we can only ask when absurd traditional and religious practices would be abolished and the girl child be given a voice to speak for herself?
Not only to speak but to be heard, to be noticed as a member of society and not as property. The saga continues but it must come to an end.