Effects of Early Marriage on Girl Child Education in Kyere Sub County, Serere District
Author: ADOA HELLEN
Supervisor: Ika Lino
Child marriage is a violation of Article 16(2) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, article 16 of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda Article 31(1), which states that “Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses. The extent which this is implemented will have impact on the Girl education which is often seen as key to preventing child marriage. However, the timing and the resultant impact of early marriage is a source of concern for many who cherish the equitable participation of female in modern education and this study established how this affects girl child education. The main objective of the study was to evaluate the effects of early marriage on girl child education in Kyere Sub County, Serere district.
The study sought to address the research questions (what are causes of early marriage among girl child in Serere district? What are consequences of early marriage on girl child education in Serere district? Which approaches are used to end child marriage in Serere district?) by using case study design and a qualitative approach. It collected data from 50 respondents comprising the medical staff, district child protection unit and education office, from sub county staff, parents, prefects, teachers and religious, political and cultural leaders. It used questionnaire and interview methods to obtain information from the above population of study and analysed the information gathered thematically and using narrative and content analysis.
The study found that the causes of early marriage include; poverty and demand for dowry as a means of addressing household poverty, cultural practices and believe as well as the belief that girl child in not worthy for education thus not worthy to invested in, The study further showed that single parenthood and loss of parents drives young girls to get married to meet basic needs of life and lack of parental guidance and adoption of new cultural values. However above issues are symptoms of a broader problem of structural weaknesses of addressing livelihood needs (socioeconomic) of people. The study established the following consequences of early marriage on girl child education; Health problems especially maternal problems relating to ages of the girl child, Loss of education resulting from the drop out for marriage, perpetuation of rigid cultural norms and values thus frustrating future efforts to break the cultural barriers, vulnerability and poverty which is a key factor hindering education and other important aspects for community change, and it demographically affects the population in terms of production capacity to meet the demands of the resulting population.
In order to effectively secure the education of girl child and eliminate early marriage, the study establishes the following; Enhance the role of the Government, especially the broader role of first ensuring the citizens attain the socioeconomic wellbeing and enhancing the enforcement of lows through eh existing administrative structure, also through anti-early marriage and pro girl child educational change and behaviour, , setting role models; improving the relevance of the curriculum and the quality of teaching; flexible schedules to allow girls to meet domestic responsibilities; in-school child- care facilities; increase girls’ schooling through cash incentives for parents to keep their daughters in school; the expansion of non-formal education for girls who have left school; the involvement of communities in running schools such as enhancing the role of current PTA and SMCs and holding them accountable.