Still Too Early
||Mercy Without Limits
||Apr 26, 2018
Many refugee families are unable to gain meaningful and consistent employment in Jordan, and any employment that is gained is often inadequate to cover the familial needs. This is especially true for women-headed households, who carry additional burdens of child care, home care, and being the primary income earner within the family.
The lack of income hinders families ability to provide basic needs for their children and other dependents, including nutritious food, health care, shelter, and education opportunities. As a result, many families resort to early marriage for their daughters as a way to ease their own economic burden and in hopes of providing a better life for their daughter with someone else.
Given their dire economic situation, they often feel this is their only hope for themselves and for their child. While child marriage can affect both boys and girls, girls are disproportionately the most affected. However, early marriage has been proven to lead to a lifetime of disadvantage and deprivation for the child.
This negatively contributes to their mental and physical well-being; on top of the other forms of abuse and exploitation they are likely to face. As a result, these child brides and their children are much more likely to fall into a cycle of poverty themselves. Without education on the dangers of child marriage and the generational effects it holds, many may continue to perpetuate child marriage.
Girls who are married before their 18th birthday have been shown less likely to remain in school, thus prohibiting them from an education and reducing their ability to gain future employment.
In partnership with the Jordanian National Forum for Women, Mercy Without Limits - Jordan organized an interactive play for 194 vulnerable women. This play discussed the health risks and negative consequences of education that early marriage poses.
The information was presented as an interactive play to convey social awareness on the risks of child marriage in an easy-to-understand format, ensure all participants gained information in an entertaining and meaningful way. As a result, many Jordanian and Syrian women have increased awareness of the risks associated with child marriage.