Are we too young for this?
Are we too young for this?
Why this petition matters
Children are getting sold off as if they are packages. A joke but it is not. Many children are married off at a tender age or forced to undergo FGM. It is no longer safe for children to be out by themselves at any time! Even though it is illegal in Kenya it is still happening.
Even though in Kenya Since the Children's Act was passed in 2001, both FGM and child marriage have been prohibited in Kenya. Other laws, such as the Sexual Offenses Act of 2006, the Prohibition of Female Genital Mutilation Act of 2011, and the Marriage Act of 2014, which sets the marriage age at 18 years, protect girls against these practices. Again we stress that even though these laws are here, some of the time they are not practised.
Gender inequality, social and cultural norms, poverty, and a lack of access to education and SRHR information and services are all common fundamental causes and societal factors. Yes they helped some children but there are still others who are suffering. So many of them are not experiencing the childhood they have a right to own.
Though the punishment that is given to whoever who does this is costly. According to Sec. 87 marrying a person who is under the age of 18 is a criminal offence and if convicted, he or she is liable to imprisonment for a maximum of 5 years or fined a maximum of KSh 1,000,000 ($10,000) or to both.
Though unfortunately even though this happens and they get fined they can easily bribe their way out. Another problem on the list though shall not be talked about today.
It ruins the girl's childhood because there could be a high chance of the baby or mother getting a disease e.g. Cervical cancer, malaria, and death during childbirth, obstetric fistulas, and it could reduce the population of children and it would be very bad. They won’t be able to finish school and may cause their parents severe depression.
Types include, rape, sexual assault, physical assault, forced marriage, denial of resources/opportunities or services and psychological and emotional abuse. All of the above will affect the child's psychological health, which can sometimes go to the cases of suicide, which is putting up our deathrate even higher, then it breaks how they think.
One of the main concerns you should be focusing this on is the after effects. As mentioned earlier, going through this can cause some major psychological issues (and a lot of them do not get the help they need) - and we do not know where to begin with the physical issues!
We therefore request you to:
Educate the community on how wrong this is. It is wrong because it can affect the child’s growth system and it could ruin the child’s mindset and in general it is not healthy because it can cause negative effects such as: depression, sexually transmitted infection, cervical cancer malaria, obstetric fistulas, and material mortality.
We need more security too, as it is easy for people to abuse children in many ways without anyone noticing or caring, in the end it hits back fatally.
Empower the girls. Teach the girls their rights. Let them know their worth. You can also start Self Defence classes. This would help them in a given situation.
Provide people with income opportunities. Some families are forced to give their children away because it would
In conclusion, we would kindly request for this to change! We cannot bear even having to think about this! Us as children are too young for this! Put yourself into their shoes. Would you like it? Imagine someone you know was going through this. Would you allow it? We should be living our childhood- As should they.
Kindest of Regards
Students of Aga Khan Academy in a Service Learning Group