In the year I was born (1979) Malawi had about 6.053 million people only. But thirty-seven years later the nation is overpopulated with well over seventeen million people. There are several factors behind such a rapid rise of the population in our small territory among which being early marriages.
But Why Early Marriages?
When we have a close look at the demographic and social information for this country, we notice that most of the people live below the poverty line. And this – coupled with a wide range of other issues like illiteracy and ethnic setup – has an overriding impact on early marriages among people.
In a bid to dig up much more details on the issue of early marriages we must use the “but why” method which gives us the following as clues to the question above.
- As a country we have never been sufficiently serious, notwithstanding sketchy plans, to curb population. In other countries procreation is regulated by laws whereas parents are expected to bring into existence a specified number of children.
- When parents have more children than they can take care of, they are tempted to influence them into early marriages.
- Suffice to mention that some traditional practices akin to initiation have also resulted in young children getting married.
Effects: Early marriages has ardent negative effects which include, not only the fact that young parents are not conversant with how to take care of their children, but also the following.
Early pregnancies pose a great threat to lives of such young mothers beacause their bodies are not mature for child bearing. And the fact that life expectancy due to illhealth decreases cannot be overemphasised.
Literacy levels tend to become low and gradually this affects the national development in one way or another.
The social amenities like health facilities and bore holes are not practically proportional with the ever swelling population in this poor nation; and in the like terms our land remains the same.
Young children are unable to manage their families, and to some extent this promotes domestic violence as their so-called spouses are not thereby amused and/or satisfied.