Education Is A Key To Ending Child Marriage

Education Is A Key To Ending Child Marriage


In developing countries such as Ethiopia, 1 in 3 girls will be married before the age of 18 ( Soon, child brides as young as 14 years old become mothers who are unprepared to care for themselves let alone take on the responsibility of raising a family. Child marriage not only deprives young girls of their childhood, it takes away their right to an education.

Effects on Education and Health

More often than not, child marriage marks the end of girls’ education. In countries with, “harmful social attitudes and behaviors,” towards women, schools are not, “supportive places of learning,” nor are they seen as necessary ( In communities such as Malda, India, girls are married off at young ages for financial reasons. Here, women do not provide a source of income; therefore, higher levels of education are viewed as irrelevant. For many families living in poverty, marrying off a daughter can mean one less mouth to feed ( Societal norms and attitudes overlook the value of girls, denying them a better future.

Adolescent pregnancies and the responsibility for a family that come with child marriage is a huge barrier in the way of receiving an adequate education. In fact, 75% of child brides in Nigeria cannot read or write ( With a lack of education, child brides’ personal development hinders, as does their, “ability to contribute to their family and community” (

This structural violence takes away girls’ right to decide their future and often leads to different forms of domestic abuse. Ashley Judd, Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), puts it simply, “sex within forced marriage is not sex, it is rape” ( Child brides are often forced into early pregnancies for which their bodies are not ready, as they have not yet reached maturity. Child marriage results in, “…harmful consequences [for] both the [girls’] health and that of their future babies” ( With little to no education, girls lack skills they need for a better future.

Solutions – Educating Girls and Communities

Education is crucial in ending child marriage. According to a study by UNICEF, girls with secondary schooling are six times less likely to marry as children than girls with little to no education ( Additionally, each year of delayed marriage increases the likelihood of literacy by 5.6% ( That’s huge. Education continues to prove successful in improving girls’ chances at a better future with the help of programs such as TESFA (Towards Economic and Sexual Reproductive Health Outcomes for Adolescent Girls). By educating girls in an Ethiopian community on sexual and reproductive health and providing economic empowerment information and guidance, TESFA was able to prevent more than 70 marriages and get child brides back in school (

There are many reasons behind child marriage: economic, traditional, religious, etc. Though laws against child marriage have been passed in several countries, “they are not enforced due to countervailing norms, or because there are widespread exceptions” ( Educating a community is just as important as educating girls and victims of child marriage. In order to change attitudes towards girls and child marriage and communities, the adults and leaders of such societies must be educated as well. The ADA (Amhara Development Association) and the ICRW (International Center for Research on Women) have worked to educate teachers and schools to encourage and support girls to achieve and succeed in the classroom. By working with parents and other community representatives to raise awareness around girls’ education and providing information on reproductive health the rate of childhood marriage has reduced (

Educated women are more likely to delay marriage and childbirth. Further levels of education will encourage girls to set and accomplish goals ( “If child marriage and early pregnancies could be eliminated, this could potentially reduce the gender gap in education by about half” ( Through education, child brides and girls susceptible to child marriage can build the confidence and assertiveness they need to help ensure them with a better future along with the support of their communities.

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.


Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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My Hometown Just Experienced A Mass Shooting, If We Don't Do Something, Yours Could Be Next

You never think it will happen to you until it does.


I was on my way out the door to work when I got a panicked call from my mother.

"Can you look at the news online?" she said quickly. "There is a mass shooting somewhere nearby."

My heart stopped. For me, Aurora, Illinois is home. I was born there, I grew up around the area and I attended high school there. My siblings go to school close by and my boyfriend works for a neighboring fire department.

How could my beloved hometown become the victim of the latest tragedy?

After calling my boyfriend, who was at the fire station getting ready to deploy ambulances to the scene, I discovered that it had taken place at a factory nearby. My anxiety hit an all-time high as I watched the updates on all of the local city Facebook pages and groups. Officers down. Gunman at large. Mass casualties.

Hours later, all of the facts came out. A former employee of Henry Pratt's Company, a local industrial warehouse, had recently been let go and decided to get revenge. He entered the warehouse with a gun and began to shoot at random, killing five people and wounding many others, including five police officers. He was killed by local SWAT forces.

I am the kind of person who is pro-gun and pro-gun rights because of the second amendment and all of the freedoms I believe we deserve. But that doesn't make what happened okay and it never will.

While this situation doesn't change my mind, it does change my view of the world.

Why would somebody decide that shooting former coworkers was the way to go? Why would anyone want to hurt others? These are the questions that flooded my mind in the hours after the mass shooting. I don't necessarily think we have a gun issue in America, but issues with mental health and valuing life.

We pass bills to kill unborn children. We repeal bills that take away healthcare from million. We devalue life in its most basic form and respect those around us to still have enough respect for each other's lives. We stigmatize those who need psychiatric care and expect things to still be alright.

This is not alright.

Our country, our system, our values, and morals, they are all broken and backward. We have let mass shootings become normal and violence becomes accepted. It needs to be stopped. There needs to be a change.

One of the people killed was an intern from a local college during his first day on the job. Being a college student applying to internships myself, this hit far too close to home. Nobody deserves to die, least of all in their place of work while trying to further their career.

Five people lost their lives due to someone's disrespect of them. Yes, a gun was the weapon, but a mind was the actor. I pray that someday, our country will return to valuing life and respecting others enough to help them instead of pushing them away. This is not the first mass shooting, but it can be the last. If, and only if, we make sure of it.

If you want to help the victim's families in any way, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with funeral expenses

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