Girls’ marriage in Egypt allows the inter-generational
Added on - 21 Sep 2019
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Girls’ marriage in Egypt allows the inter-generational reproduction ofpoverty and gender inequalitiesChild marriage is still a widely ignored violation of development rights of women andgirls. The issues of girls’ marriage is seen to have been practiced widely in Egypt andvarious links between poverty and early marriage are seen. There are various socio-cultural issues revolving around the early marriage which are related directly toeconomic poverty and gender discrimination making the married girls directly vulnerableto the economic and social poverty. The child marriages are seen to increase thevulnerability of the girl child along with impacting the economic dimensions of thepoverty. Globally, it is seen that poverty is a major cause along with being theconsequence of the early marriage for various girls who are under the age of 18. It isseen that the poor families in the traditional settings use girl marriage of their daughtersas a strategy in order to reduce their own economic vulnerability, so as to shift theireconomic burden which is related to the care of their daughter to the family of thehusband. This strategy has been demonstrating negative effects reinforcing thevulnerability of the girl and to her children by enhancing the poverty in her marital home.The younger the girls are during the time of their marriage, the girls are seen to havelower acquired critical skills and have limited personal capacity for managing theadverse situations affecting the overall welfare and economic well-being of her child.The disproportionate access towards the education of the girls is one of the most criticalcause of child marriage in Egypt. Around 13 percent of the female and 3 percent of themales of age 10 and 29 have never been exposed to school education in Egypt. InEgypt, it has been seen that as the girls reach their adolescence, the community normsare seen to dictate them to get married which in turn perpetuates the cycle of illiteracyand poverty (Namoro, S., & Roushdy, R., 2009).Further, the girl marriage further lead to issues in gender discrimination and put unduepressure on the young wives so as to meet the needs of the demanding responsibilities.These young girls also face various restrictions in the case of physical mobility and arealso unable to exercise their individual rights within their marriage. This way, the womenare not able to raise their children in dignity and constrain the capabilities of their ownchild. The children of these girl child also undervalue the participation and contributionof the girl child thereby limiting the possibilities of stability, growth and transformation.
Patriarchal gender norms and religion and other contributing FactorsPoverty as discussed has been considered as the most critical contributing factor to thegirl child marriages taking place in Egypt. The girl child are married off to the olderpeople and are seen to receive the ‘bride price’ of livestock or the money from theirhusbands thereby becoming a method bringing needed resources into the family.The patriarchy has made the women to accept the male control by their respectivehusband, father, brother etc. as their price for protecting them from the aggression bythe other male counterpart. This factor is seen to hamper the autonomy and equalitythereby preventing them to achieve their full potential in the society as well as theirpersonal space. Due to the patriarchal gender norms where men have to right tooppress women has constantly being followed in the Egyptian society, there is animmense oppression of women leading to economic as well as interdependence ofwomen in the family and society. The women are suppressed and feel helpless and areseen to be subjected to household violence like punching, choking, setting in fire etc.This leads to subjugation of women and the women and the girl child is seen to acceptthese norms in the name of society and tradition (Korson, J. & Esposito, J., 1983).According to various religiousnorms in Islam,the girls must not be exposed to sexeducation or related information and are married at younger age. According to thesereligious norms, the sex education would contribute to the promiscuity leading toentering of the girl into a marriage without basic knowledge of the reproductive health.Therefore, even the religious norms deny the girl child of education, good health andeconomic opportunity and even the right to choose their marriage partner thereforeviolating their rights. The cultures and religion are seen to provide the leniency ofexpressing their sexual behaviour to the men but are critically proscriptive while dealingwith the female sexual behaviour.