By JULIANA JANI
COMMENT: Early marriage is proven to do more harm to the girl than good. Every child should obtain at least 12 years of formal schooling, and no excuse should stand in the way to take that right to education from any girl, regardless of their socio-economic background.
It is with regret and pain that I read about the multiple exposé on child marriage and the call to lower the age of marriage for girls recently. This is evident that there is a complete disdain for victims of this breach of human rights.
I urge parents to please keep their daughters in school. And to the girls, please complete your lessons at least till SPM. Do you know that education increase earnings by roughly 15% per each additional year of schooling?
Staying in school is better than being married to have kids and becoming a housewife without salary! You can do that later, for the rest of your life.
The recent two cases of child marriage in Kelantan were closely tied to poverty when parents decided to ‘sell the daughter away’ and the ‘daughter willingly married the man’.
A girl from a poor family being married away will not make her or her family richer because she will end up quitting school and becoming a mother at a tender age.
In fact, child marriage traps girls and the families in a cycle of poverty because girls who marry young are less likely to be educated hence less likely to live a healthy and an empowered life.
• Juliana Jani is deputy Wanita Chief of UPKO