Oblivious of the Path They Are Taking – Child Marriage

Photo - MabelvanOranje @MabelvanOranje

Marriage, according to the Wikipedia states “the legally or formally recognized union of two people as partners in a personal relationship”. Our cultural landscape suggests that marriage is the next step that one should take when attracted to one another. In marriage, an attraction isn’t the only necessity, there are a number of things one look for.

In a modern-day society, people look around for their soulmates, the one they think they are comfortable spending a life with. For which, they go around looking for the places to marry, the color or the theme they desire, the food and many more.

They are there trying to perfect everything for their special day. But, not so far from us is someone, very young, unknown with the fact that they will be having a marriage ceremony with someone they haven’t even met. When its time for them to play around and have fun, they are looking after their children and looking for a way to make an income for their family.

Photo – MabelvanOranje

Child Marriage, defined as a formal marriage or informal union before age 18, is a reality for both boys and girls, although girls are the most affected. Child marriage is widespread in our country and can lead to lots of disadvantages and deprivation.

UNICEF data indicated that Nepal has the third highest rate of child marriage in Asia, after Bangladesh and India. 48.5% of girls in Nepal marry before the age of 18 and 11% of boys.

“I had no idea about child marriage then, but now I know it gives a lot of problems: my wife was constantly sick and I had a hard time managing the household. I learned the hard way,” Kamal told us. Today, the young farmer has become a social mobilizer against child marriage, volunteering to spread awareness in his community.

He says: “I didn’t know about the consequences of child marriage. If I had, I wouldn’t have married early. Now I have a chance to warn others against under-age marriage. I hope they will listen.”

Photo – Nepali Times


There are few cases of forced child marriage in his village today, but if he fails to convince young couples not to get married he reports the case to the authorities.

Rita didn’t face complications in her second pregnancy, and the couple is now learning to take care of their one-year-old son together.”- Nepali Times (,3863)

Many of the marriages that occurred when they were young were arranged and often forced by the brides’ parents. And, the consequences of those child marriages have turned out deeply harmful. Married children usually drop out of their school to sustain their new family and work out their own married-life issues, and that is merely the beginning of their upcoming troubles. Then follows the never-ending sequence of household chores, family rituals and a quest for a fulfilling life, which, as it turns out, a far cry for many of them.

Photo –

Certainly, there are laws against child marriage, but there is also little evidence of the government implementing those laws to prevent and rectify this issue of child marriage. If there is, those efforts are not consistent and hence futile. Programs are often held in the places practicing child marriage to raise awareness, but people are either terribly ignorant or bound by their rigid traditions. That, however, has not deterred some people and agencies to keep working on this social issue.

And, although Nepal has pledged to end child marriage and seems to have taken some steps toward developing a national plan to achieve that goal, it is perhaps time for some real action on our part, too. While policies should be formulated to get rid of such old and rigid social traditions, the matter of executing them, or at least leading the ignorant towards the right way should be our responsibility as educated and aware Nepali citizens.

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Written by Dorjee Khando

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