Causes and Effects of Early Marriage Among Girls in Mvita Sub-county, Mombasa County
Said, Asha Y
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This study investigated the causes of early marriage as well as the consequences of the practice in Mombasa County with a focus on Mvita Sub-County. Specifically the study sought to establish the causes of early marriage and describe its effects on girls in the Sub- County. The study was guided by the radical feminist theory. Radical feminist beliefs are based on the idea that the main causes of women’s oppression originates from social roles and institutional structures that are constructed from male supremacy and patriarchy. Data was collected through survey method, focus group discussions, key informant interviews and secondary sources. The studied sample comprised of 100 married women aged 15 to 25 years who were married before the age of 18. The study revealed that early marriage in Mvita Sub-County is rampant. The findings showed that the tradition of marrying girls at an early age to protect them from engaging in improper behaviour is the leading cause of early marriage in the Sub-County. Other causes of early marriage as revealed by the study are poverty, religious obligation and societal pressure. The findings further revealed that early marriage has negative effects on a girl’s health. The young girls face serious complications during childbirth and are more at risk of death during childbirth since their bodies are not fully developed. The findings also revealed that early marriage denies children of school age their right to education. Based on the findings, recommendations are made for advocating for dialogue at community level with local administration, women groups and religious leaders around the issue of early marriage and coming up with interventions. Such interventions should aim at addressing complex and negative sociocultural norms and expanding access to primary, secondary school and tertiary education. This can be achieved by offering financial incentives for disadvantaged girls to stay in school, More importantly, further studies on early marriage and its consequences need to be conducted all over the country and especially at the coast where the practice is common, to document the magnitude of the problem.
University of Nairobi
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 United States
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