I heard of child marriages from Emma Watson, who visited Malawi in 2016 with the United Nations, as she was serving as Un Women’s Goodwill Ambassador. Malawi, a Southeastern African country, ‘’passed the Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Act, raising the minimum age of marriage to 18’’(UN Women). Emma did go there to meet a chief and celebrate annulled marriages and girls who have returned to school.
But what about England? We white people love to look in other parts of the world and point the finger ‘’You! You over there, end child marriages! It’s wrong!!’’ but what if this happens in your own home?! It should be an attitude of ‘’Let’s end child marriages home first then show other countries how to do it and help out’’.
Last year in November, Karen McVeigh for The Guardian wrote about The Parliament was about to vote on a bill on banning child marriage in England and Wales, as parental consent may cover physical abuses.
But the most staggering data from the article is this: ’’Between 2007 and 2017, 3,096 marriages involving children aged 16 and 17 were legally registered in England and Wales, according to the Office of National Statistics.’’(The Guardian, 2021).
Just to put things in perspective for you, it is legal for a 16 or 17 year old to marry if they have parental consent, but that sounds to me like a perfect cover for arranged marriages which reminds me of India. Some arranged marriages did work out in history, like Princess Marie Alexandra Victoria of Edinburg who became Queen Marie of Romania, who wed Ferdinand, Crown Prince of Romania, back in 1893(first she refused to marry her cousin, smart woman, important dating tip to all royals).
And another disturbing fact comes from Sky News, who gained access to call logs belonging to Karma Nirvana charity, hearing how a 7 year-old child is at risk of being forced to marry in the UK to save the family’s honor. What would happen to their childhood?, because they for sure would be forced to start their sex lives which is way to early and would traumatize them for life. At seven they should not lose their innocence to nonsense.
One can only hope UK does put an end to child marriages by rising the minimum age to at least 20 years old, so that other countries can have UK as an example.