EARLY GIRL CHILD MARRIAGE IN NIGERIA

            EARLY GIRL CHILD MARRIAGE IN NIGERIA





CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background to the Study                                                                                           

In the pre-independence era in 1847 when formal education was first introduced in Northern Nigeria, the government through the Native Authority (NA) (which transformed to Local Government Authority) had to force parents to send the girl-child to enroll in formal schools. The NA fully funded the education of these girls who were conscripted to various schools often located outside their province Bayisenge, J. (2012). However, the socio-cultural and religious practices that evolved later in Northern states, particularly the North East and North West changed with the highest number of girl-child not enrolled in school and those who drop out to get married. The majority of these girls never return to school to complete their education, learn a trade, or acquire vocational skills that would economically empower and make them self-reliant.

Every society and culture has some basic norms and beliefs that guide the people. In Nigeria for instance, specifically the Northern Nigeria (Hausa - Fulani dominated) allowed early marriage of the girl-child. Erulkar and Bello (2007) argued that the reason for acceptance of early marriages among Northern region is to preserve the value of virginity, fears about marital sexual activity, to reduce promiscuity of the girl-child, and other socio-cultural and religious norms¹. However, due to the ignorance and selfish nature, more often than not they forget the effect it has on the girl- child as well as their community development. It is worrisome that the girl- child has no power to resist the offer. The effect of early marriage on the girl-child that affects her wellbeing and that of the society include education, lack of economic empowerment and lack of knowledge on reproductive health services which will enable them take informed decisions, enhance their ability to leverage resources and participate in community decision making.

This research project, besides having the objective of fulfilling the requirements for the award of BSc in Educational Management Certificate, also aims at providing an explanation of the effects of early marriage on girl-child education in Wamakko local government .By providing this insight, this research would have given a clearer picture of the extent of the problem in the area of study and factors that leads to the phenomenon in which young girls are taken out of school abruptly, therefore being denied the opportunity of acquiring the most basic western education.

An explanation of these factors will also by extension, expose the socio-cultural, religious and economic aspects of the problem and afford the observer, its historical origin. These will then give a greater grasp of the phenomenon and all its aspects, including indeed, its implication s for the lives of the affected girls and collective destiny of their community (Wamakko local government).

 1.2 Statement of the Problem

Early girl-child marriage results in less access for girls to education or the end of education for girls. Once girls are married, their status infringes upon a range of their rights. Child marriage is closely linked to girls dropping out of schools, denying their right to education they need for their personal development, their ability to contribute their family and community.  A girl child, who continues with her study and has VVF, will be a hindrance to her education. Depriving a girl of the opportunity to learn, limits her prospects for employment and her ability to gain useful skill.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

For every research to be properly conducted, it must have aim and objectives that lead to its writing. Thus, the objectives of this research are as follow:

                                i.            To examine the causes of early marriage on girl-child education in Wamakko local government.

                             ii.            To analyze the consequences of early marriage of girl-child in Wamakko local government.

                           iii.            To outline the possible ways to address the challenge of early marriage of girl-child in Wamakko local government.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions were adapted to assist the researchers;

i.                    What are the causes of early marriage on girl-child education in Wamakko local government?

ii.                 What are the consequences of early marriage of girl-child in Wamakko local government?

iii.               What are the possible ways to address the challenge of early marriage of girl - child in Wamakko local government?

 

1.5 Significance of the Study

        This research provides clear explanations that are sourced from the members of Wamakko local government on the problems of girl-child education which are more realistic and down-to-earth. Therefore, its findings will enable policy makers to formulate remedies to the phenomena that are more people-oriented and participatory.

        Although the scope of the research is confined to Wamakko local government, its findings and conclusions will tend to also apply to most local government in Northern Nigeria. This is because Wamakko local government shares similar culture/norms and traditions with the rest of local governments in Northern Nigeria. Therefore, the facts revealed by this research will also be applied to rest of this part of Nigeria. Thus, the research will be as significant for this wider area as it is for Wamakko local government.

        On a more specific scale, the research will provide clear explanations on the phenomenon being studied. The effects of early marriage on girl child education in Wamakko local government. This will enable school administrators in the area understand the problem areas and on an immediate basis, provide possible solutions to them within their jurisdiction. They should also be better placed to communicate the nature of the crisis to higher authorities from a more informed position.

1.6 Scope and Delimitation

The scope of the study is to investigate the effect of early marriage on girl child education.

   The major delimitations in undertaking this study are time factor (the study is confined to Wamakko local government, rather than Sokoto state) and financial Problem which a wider area will jeopardize.

1.7       Operational Definition of Terms

Effect: Is defined as a result of something or the ability to bring about a result.

Early Marriage:  Is used to refer to both formal marriages and informal unions in which a girl lives with a partner as if married before age of 18 (UNICEF 2005) .

Girl-child: Is a biological female offspring from birth to eighteen (18) years of age. This is the age before one becomes a young adult. 

Education: Education is the process of providing information to an inexperienced person to help him/her develop physically, mentally, socially, emotionally, spiritually, politically and economically.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER TWO

REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE

2.1 CONCEPTUAL AND THEORETICAL ISSUES

There seems to exist an inexhaustible volume of literary works on the effect of early marriage on girl-child education not only in northern Nigeria but also particularly in Sokoto State. These works are usually carried out by individual academicians, government agencies and international organizations. Added to these are the books, newspaper articles, seminar papers e.t.c.

The term “early marriage” is used to refer to both formal marriages and informal unions in which a girl lives with a partner as if married before age of 18 (UNICEF 2005) . Similarly, UNIFPA (2006) defines early marriage and child marriage, any marriage carried out below the age of 18 years, before the girl is physically, physiologically, and psychologically ready to shoulder the responsibilities of marriage and childbearing. Child marriage, on the other hand, involves either one or both spouses being children and may take place with or without formal registration, and under civil, religious or customary laws.

Ango (1991) defined early marriage as either marriage of an adolescent girl/boy or marriage of an adolescent girl to a matured man or vice-versa and this happens at puberty when the individual is getting matured. The marital age according to Molokwu (2000) is above the age of 18 years, when the individual is physically, socially, academically and emotionally matured to cope with the challenges of marriage. The Nigerian review draft decree put the marriageable age of the girl-child at 18 years. Also, the UNICEF (2001) on the rights of the child recommends that children should not be separated from their parents before 18 years unless it is considered necessary.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the most comprehensive international bill of rights for women, states that any betrothal or marriage of a child should not have any legal status. The Committee that monitors this convention states further in General Recommendation 21 (Article 16(2)) that the minimum age for marriage for both male and female should be 18 years, the age when “they have attained full maturity and capacity to act”. Most early marriages are arranged and based on the consent of parents and often fail to ensure the best interests of the girl child. Early marriages often include some elements of force, (Otoo-Oyortey and Pobi 2003).

The lack of an overarching definition of early marriage in international conventions has generated some debate. Some scholars and activists, argued that instead of looking for a universal age at which girls and boys should not marry, the focus should be put instead on eliminating the unwanted effects of early marriage. Some suggested that a universal age of marriage is not appropriate, in part because societies have different understanding of what it means to be a child as well as different socio-economic and cultural realities. Bunting (1999) proposes that governments should be allowed to set the age of marriage below 18 years of age, but that the onus is on them to demonstrate that this lower age does not result in any discrimination or adverse consequences for women. Child marriage is the practice of marrying a young girl (generally defined as below the age of eighteen) to an adult.

In most cases, it is always a young girl married to a matured man. It is a situation where female adolescents and teenagers are married to adult husbands. In these instances, sometimes, the men can be twice their ages and these females become child brides. Adedokun, et. al., (2012) observed that child marriages are often arranged in two distinct ways, within a context of force and coercion, either by parents or other persons in positions of authority in the family arranging their young daughter’s marriage to an adult, often a much older man or arranging the future marriage of two children. It is not uncommon to find girls of 7 -14 years already married off with the girls sent off to live with the families of the husbands.

Generally, prospective husbands are selected based on social, religious and monetary factors and age is not considered an important factor, as husbands are on the average 12 years older than the child brides in monogamous unions and up to 15-20 years older in polygynous unions (Population Council, 2005) and in isolated cases, may be several decades older. Child marriage equals early marriage. This inevitably denies children of school age their right to the education for their personal development, preparation for adulthood and effective contribution to the future well-being of their family and society. The interaction between the number of years of a girl’s schooling and the postponement of marriage is firmly established by demographic and fertility studies. On the average, women with seven or more years of education marry four years later and have 2.2 percent fewer children than those with no education. Meanwhile, it has been rightly observed that there is better tool for effective development than education of girls. It lowers infant mortality, promotes health, improves nutrition, raises economic productivity, enhances political participation and prepares the ground for educating the next generation.

The clarion call for the liberation of the girl- child from the shackles of early marriage and her attendant relegation to a vulnerable position has continued to be resisted with traditional customs and religious beliefs, despite the United Nations declarations (UNICEF, 2001) on the fundamental human rights of the girl-child. Child marriage is regarded as a global problem that undermines global development efforts towards achieving more educated, healthier and stable populations as it often involves discontinuance of education, early severance of family ties, separation of the child-bride from her peers, domestic violence, early sexual activity and child bearing associated with health complications. Significantly, the practice has received universal condemnation and has been identified as contributing greatly to the slow pace of achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (eradicating extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primarily education, promoting gender equality and empowering women, reducing child mortality, improving maternal health and combating HIV/AIDS, cervical cancer, sexually transmitted diseases, VVF, malaria and other diseases) in many countries.

Judging from the array of socio-medical consequences of early marriage, it is only logical for countries to legislate against child marriages. Nigeria followed suit by enacting ‘Child Rights Act 2005’ which amongst others out rightly prohibits child marriages. The paramount issue however, is the effective implementation of this law.

2.2 Empirical review

The “children and women’s right in Nigeria situation assessment and analysis 2001” published by UNICEF sees the issue as one of the most enduring challenges the Nigerian government has to face. The assessment initially observes that education is the vehicle for personal and social progress for the woman, arguing that, “the higher a woman’s level of education, the more likely it is that she will marry later, play a greater role in decision-making and exercise her reproductive rights.” As a mother, an educated woman, according to UNICEF is more efficient because, “her children are also more likely to enjoy better health and to be well nourished.”

However, the UNICEF document laments hindrances to the education and advancement of females in Nigeria. It listed them as “deeply ingrained cultural beliefs and attitudes passed from generation to generation which sometimes results in practices that are harmful to the survival of female children and women”.

The assessment is able to see the link between female literacy and under-five mortality rate and concludes that, “there is a strong relationship between low levels of female education and child survival”. Still, UNICEF is convinced that the problem is greater in northern Nigeria, revealing that, “both female illiteracy and under –five mortalities are almost twice as high in the northern states as in the south”.

Data presented in the assessment indeed portray are very educationally backward northern Nigeria. In the north-west; it reveals that, “where 82% of women have had no education, 67% of their children have also had no immunization. The situation is scarcely ally better in the north-east”.

The same document paints a very disturbing picture of girl-child education in Nigeria by stating that, “of special concern is the educational access of girls, who have historically been disadvantaged, relative to boys, and the closely related problem of female illiteracy…”

      Apart from research work by such global organizations as UNICEF there also exist large volumes of materials produced by individuals, mostly academicians who specialized in the field. One of them is Junaid (1993) who did “a situation analysis on basic education in sokoto state”.

Professor Junaid in the chapter dealing with “Views and Attitudes Towards Female Education” declares that “…while majority of parents and husbands agreed in principle that the education of girls is a key to success in life …in practice…only a few of them are willing to allow their wives to continue education after marriage.”

Among the adduced reasons for this, though erroneously, Junaid quickly points out religion tops the list. “This was followed by convenience (presumably of the husbands)”, while another set argued that “it was not in their tradition to allow their wives to continue with education after marriage”. Yet, others reared that “an educated wife would be a threat to her husband”.

In this work, early marriage is quoted as the most significant hindrance to female education in sokoto state covering about 68% of the research respondents.

From professor Junaid’s findings, it can be deducted that marriage (pre and post) constitutes the greatest factor in the inability of the girl-child to acquire formal education. As a young spinster, it is a favored option to continued schooling and as a wife; it is the barrier to continued education.

Lloyd (2005) asserts that in many parts of Africa, Nigeria inclusive, the bride price or wealth, paid in exchange for the bride’s labor and fertility is an important resource for greater wealth and survival of the family and therefore may induce early arrangements of marriage by parents. Existing notions of morality and honors are important influences on decisions of parents to marry off daughters very early to ensure that a girl’s virginity is preserved at marriage, as culturally expected in order to purchase the highly valued virtue for the girl and honour for her family. In the absence of viable options, early marriage is seen as a way of protecting girls from unwanted pregnancies. When such marriages are to older men, they are also considered as necessary guardians against possible immoral and inappropriate behavior on the part of the young wives.

Giyan (2009) argued that some religious practices, such as Islam encourage early marriage and parents imbibe this for fear of their daughters being pregnant out of wedlock and the only available option could be marriage at an early age. Early marriage has been defended in Nigeria as clearly permissible by the Islamic religion, but with the cautionary measure that such marriages can only be consummated when the bride is mature enough. He concluded that most times these decisions are often made without the consent of the child and with no recourse to the consequences of the actions.

UNICEF (2010) observed that the marriage of young person’s less than 18 years is still widely practiced in many parts of the world but remains prevalent in countries of Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean as well as Southern Asia and predominantly affects girls. It was estimated that, if nothing changes, a 100 million young girls aged 15 years or less will be married within the present decade. Regional estimates of its occurrence for girls include 48 percent in Southern Asia, 42 percent in Africa and 29 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean with wide differentials across the countries.

In the West African sub-region, the proportions of girls affected vary from 28 to 43 percent (Ghana, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, Benin, and Nigeria) to 60 to 80 percent (Burkina Faso, Guinea, Mali, Chad and Niger).

Abdallah (2011) in a study observed that in Nigeria, the practice of child marriage is deeply entrenched in tradition, culture and religion and the country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with estimated 42 percent of girls married before 18 years; and while this is found among many ethnic groups across the country, its predominance is clearly in the northern part of the country. While nationwide, 20 percent of girls are married by age 15, and 40 percent are married by age 18, child marriage is extremely prevalent in some regions such as among the predominantly Muslim Hausa-Fulani of the Northwest and North-East (of which Zaria is a part) where 48 percent of girls are married by age 15, and 78 percent are married by age 18. While average age at first marriage is 17 years nationwide, average age of marriage for girls is just over 11 years in Kebbi State and about 15 years in most other parts of northern Nigeria. Among the Yoruba’s, made up of a mixture of Christians and Muslims in the South-West, child-marriages are no longer arranged and for the Igbo in the South-East that are predominantly Christians, the practice has declined considerably and restricted to few communities and situations where pregnant teenagers are forcefully married off, to prevent family shame or restore honour.

Bayisenga (2012) examined the issue of early marriage in sub-Saharan Africa. It sheds light specifically on reason behind its perpetuation, its harmful consequences which include barrier to education, enjoyment of girl’s human rights and how it further threatened the development of countries. He observed that early marriage is due to various factors including among others, the search for economic survival, protection of young girls, peer group and family pressure, controlling female behavior and sexuality, wars and civil conflicts and socio-cultural and religious values. It is a violation of girl’s human rights as it deprives her from freedom, opportunity for personal development, and other rights. It also a developmental challenge for population pressure, health care costs and lost opportunities of human development. It is barrier to girl’s education as young girls drop out from school to get married which impacts negatively on the community as whole and on the wellbeing of future generation. This practice stands in direct conflict with the objectives of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); such as the promotion of basic education, fight against poverty, the prevention of HIV/AIDS and reduction maternal mortality rate.

Adedokun, et. al., (2012) examined the maternal health implications of early marriage on young mothers in Gombe, using data obtained from 200 young mothers aged 15-24 years. The study revealed that more than 60 percent had only primary education, 50 percent had been married for between 5-9 years and more than 70 percent had experienced complications before or after childbirth. Age at first marriage, current age, level of education and household decision making influence maternal health risks in the study area. Entitlements and freedoms that are highly relevant to reduction of maternal mortality, provided by international treaties are inaccessible to young women in the study area.

Nwokolo (2012) investigated the capacity building strategies for counseling against early marriage of the Girl-child in Ogidi Education zone of Anambra state. Three research questions were used and descriptive survey design was adopted. The population for the study is all the parents who are members of the parents’ teachers’ association of all the schools in Ogidi education zone and all the eleven counselors in the chosen zone. A sample of 660 respondents was chosen through random sampling and all the 11 counselors were chosen because the population size is small. On the whole 671 respondents were used for the study. Instrument used was questionnaire and mean rating was used as the statistical tool. The results showed that all but one of the items are the capacity building strategies as agreed by the respondents. This implies that unless the parents work together with the counselors, counseling might not contribute much in the fight against early marriage of the Girl-child.

In 2009 Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), it was reported that in 26.5 percent couples, there is an age difference of 15 or more years between husband and wife. Equally, it showed the median age of marriage in the South West and South East was 20.2 years whilst those of the North West was 14.6 years and slightly higher in the North East with 15.0 years. A study based on the 2003 NDHS revealed that the timing of marriage varies considerably by region and area of residence. The median age at marriage is lowest among girls in North West and North East regions, at 15.8 and 16.8 years respectively. Rural girls were more likely to marry early compared with urban girls; for example, in the North West, 29 percent of urban girls married by age 15 compared with 65 percent of their rural counterparts who are married at the same age. The timing of marriage among girls in the southern regions is later. Another significant factor from the 2003 survey was that rural girls were more likely to get married earlier than urban girls. It is quite glaring that there is higher incidence of child marriage in Northern Nigeria.

Erulkar and Bello (2007) conducted a multi country research which included Nigeria. The findings showed that the modern contraceptive usage rate among married child brides from 15-19 years old in Nigeria is 0.6 percent. This percentage is very negligible; such child brides in most cases cannot determine the period of pregnancy and are prone to early pregnancy. With this, they are susceptible to the increased risk of dying, increased risk of premature labor, low birth rate and higher chances that the newborn babies will not live. There are also the serious medical complications of   Vesico-Vagina Fistula (VVF) and Rectum Vagina Fistula (RVF). It is pathetic that girls with such medical conditions are considered unclean and ostracized by society. They discovered that in Nigeria, this condition affects 150,000 women. Out of this, a whole lot of 80-90 percent of wives with VVF are divorced by their husbands. They also observed that most of them lack basic education.

From the review of previous studies, it is evidence that a number of factors are responsible for early marriage of girl child marriage in various countries including Nigeria. The consequences of such action has contributed immensely to the non-achievement of gender equality, absolute poverty and hunger reduction, universal basic education, and improved health and reduction in maternal and infant death, HIV/AIDS, etc. in Africa and other third world countries.

2.3 Causes of Early Marriage

2.3.1 Poverty

       Financial problem has lured a lot of people to this mess of giving out their girl in marriage in other to be free from the burden of female expenses. It means one less person to feed, clothe and educate. They bring forth children they cannot train due to poverty, the alternative is to enrich their pockets or lift the burden of training a girl child by giving her out in marriage at a tender age as an exchange.

2.3.2 Absence or Limited Education

Family educational background has a vital role to play in a child’s educational attainment, the probability that an educated parent will marry off his girl child is very slim as they know the value of education. Lack of education propel parents to believe that training a girl child is a waste of resources, that marriage is the only alternative that will protect her without knowing the precautions act.

2.3.3 Traditional/Religious belief

Most traditions and religious belief varies; some are based on old time religious traditions which encourage child marriage. There is a certain age a girl is married off in other not to bring shame to the family and they also believe that a girl must be married as a virgin, to maintain their belief parents marry off their girl before she becomes sexually abuse. Also children can be an avenue for settling debts or sealing family relationship, in this aspect the girl child is formally betrothed to the man as soon as she is born.

2.3.4 Gender inequality

Gender inequality is one of the challenges women face presently, were more preference are given to men over a woman, this is practically transferred to young girls of nowadays. This is one of the main attribute that has facilitated early-girl child marriage. It is believed that no matter how you train a woman she will end up in a man’s house, so therefore they marry their girls off in other not to waste their resources.

2.4 Possible ways to address the Challenge of Early Marriage

            Several NGOs and international organizations work to mitigate the impact of many of the drivers of child marriage, such as poverty, illiteracy and gender equality.

Programs that specifically target child marriage reduction have recently been increasing in scope and efficacy. The most effective anti-child marriage programs in terms of evaluation result shows two extremes. The first contains long-term child prevention programs that tend to be comprehensive because they aim to change deeply entrenched social and cultural practices. At the other extreme are the newer and smaller school and incentive-based programs that bring a combination of established efficacy and simple intervention: cash or goods such as livestock given to parent in return for girl’s school attendance or married to be delayed (Malhorta et al 2013)

Changing the social and economic structures of community and all level of education should be made accessible to girls so that more girls will be enrolled and retained. Parents and community leaders also need to be sensitized to support girls in school, and married girls too, need to be encouraged to continue their education.

2.5. Consequences of Early Marriage on Girl-Child Education

2.5.1 Lack of Education

Early marriage inevitably denies children of school age their right to the education they need for their personal development, their preparation for adulthood, and their effective contribution to the future well-being of their family and society. Indeed, married girls who would like to continue schooling may be both practically and legally excluded from doing so.

In rural areas, secondary education often means that a girl must leave home to live in a school dormitory. Parents fear that this may expose her to risks including premarital sex and pregnancy. In Northern Nigeria, for example, girls are often kept for this very reason. Even where girls can live at home while attending schools, fears about their possible sexual activity, about sexual harassment, or about insecurity on the journey to and from school, discourage their attendance.

 

2.5.2 Heath Risk

            In most cases child marriage results in many issues one of such is Vesico Vaginal Fistula (VVF) is a hole between the female vagina and the bladder, this erupts from a prolonged obstructed labour of a girl-child. The child suffers this after child birth for a long run, during the period the girl-child leaks urine or feces sometimes both uncontrollably. Often times VVF leads to chronic medical issues like constant infection, kidney diseases and infertility.

Medically it is observed that a female organ is open and vulnerable to infections they are at risk of suffering sexual transmitted disease which could be contacted from sex, toilet and unclean environment. The girls face the challenges of severe pain during intercourse due to their sex organs are not developed enough.

2.5.3 Death

UNFA (2013) discovered that complications from early child pregnancy and childbirth are the second leading causes of death among girls of 15-19 years with recorded estimates of 70,000 deaths yearly. UNICEF (2014) states that infant mortality among babies born of mothers under age 18 is 60% higher than those born of mothers above 18 years.

2.5.4 Domestic violence

Most men are impatient when they marry a young girl forgetting the fact that the so called wife is a child that needs to be corrected with love. They unleash their anger at every mistake by the child, thereby causing physiological trauma for the child. Often times they live in fear of the unknown, due to the series of abuses from the husband or his family members. Inflated injuries from violence or physical abuse pose a threat to her existence; it can lead to premature death. When they run back to their parent they are sent back, they digest all the marriage for better for worse.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER THREE

METHODOLOGY

3.0 Introduction

This focuses on the overview of the research design, population of the study, the sample and sampling techniques instrument for data collection (validity and reliability of the instruments) method of data collection as well as method of data analysis.

3.1 Research Design

            In carrying out this research, a descriptive cross-sectional design will be applied in other to guarantee the coverage of research area by representation of data collected

3.2 Population of the Study

The population of this research consisted of 150 household among Gumbi, Arkilla and Dundadye districts of Wamakko Local Government. The table below shows the details of the population of the study.

Table 3.1 Distribution of the population of the study

Districts                        Male                         Female                   Total

Arkilla                             32                            18                                  50

Dundaye                          27                            23                                  50

Gumbi                             35                            15                                     50

Total                                94                            56                                   150

Source: Questionnaire, 2021

3.3 Sample and Sampling Techniques

According to Oluikpe (1981) sample in research refers to subject selected for a study. Sampling method therefore is the process by which the researcher selects a parts of the population for a study rather than studying the whole population (polite and beck 2004).

   The researchers adopt non-probability sampling approach thus the purposive sampling is used for the study. One hundred and Fifty (150) persons were carefully selected.   

  The technique employed is a random sampling among the districts of Wamakko local government.  

3.4       Instrument for data collection

The instrument considered appropriate for this study has been the closed ended questionnaire, thus being the major instrument used in the survey study for sourcing data. The questionnaire was distributed among the some of the house members of Wamakko Local Government randomly selected for the study. The questionnaire consisted of two sections: section A and section B. the section A consisted of personal data of the respondents while section B consisted of questions that elicited response from the respondents with response options Yes or No.

 

3.4.1   Validity of the Instruments

An instrument could be said to be valid for use in research work, if it measures what is designed or meant to measure. The instrument of data analysis will be scrutinized by experts in the field of education, confirm its validity for conducting this research                         

3.4.2   Reliability of the Instrument

The reliability of the instrument was tested through test and retest method. The first test administered, then after an interval of three weeks, the second test was administered. Thirty (30) parents from independent local government served as respondents who were outside the selected sample of the study.

Data collected were used to calculate the reliability correlation coefficient using Pearson Product Moment Correlation Coefficient (r) so as to determine the reliability of the instrument. The index obtained was 0.69 which indicated that the instrument has been consistent.  

3.5 Administration of Instrument

Secondary data sources related to the research subject were collected from various higher academic institutions and from different government and non-government organizations. More specifically, secondary data collection involved written documents (published and unpublished) in Usman Dan Fodio University and Shehu Shagari College of Education.

Primary data sources related to the surveyed households (150) were selected from total households of Arkilla and Gumbi and Dundaye districts of Wamakko local government. A semi-structured interview administered questionnaire sought information on respondents’ reasons for not sending school-age girls to the locally available formal school and why girls are married off early (before  the age of 18).

3.6 Method of Data Analysis

     The data were analyzed using table, frequency and percentage in accordance with the data gotten from the respondents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER FOUR

PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION OF DATA

4.1. Introduction

      This chapter laid emphasis on presentation of the data which have been collected from the respondents in the course of the study. The information or data which have been collected would be presented in statistical tabular form showing responses with numbers of the respondents in the table and in percentage.

4.2. Presentation of Data

          The following analysis of the research data as presented below in tables is an attempt to answer the research questions of this work and is in line with the purpose of the study.

Table 4.1: Distribution of respondents according to gender

Response                             Frequency (n)                     Percentage (%)

Male                                              94                                       62.7

Female                                          56                                       37.3

Total                                             150                                     100

Source: Questionnaire, 2021

     The above table 4.1 shows the gender distribution of the total respondents in which 94 representing 62.7% of thse total respondents were males, while the remaining 56 representing 37.3% were females. This shows that majority of the respondents were males.

Table4.2: Distribution of the respondents according to factors responsible for early marriage with respect to girl child education

Factors                                Frequency (n)                     Percentage (%)

Poverty                                             60                                        40

Traditional/religious belief               30                                        20

Parents’ influence                            40                                        27.6

Peer pressure                                   5                                         3.3

Gender inequality                            15                                       10

Total                                                150                                     10

Source: Questionnaire, 2021

       The above table 4.2 shows that 60 of respondents representing 40% claim that poverty are the predominant factor responsible for early girl child marriage. 30 of respondents representing 20% claim that traditional/religious belief is the primary factor responsible for early girl child marriage. 40 respondents representing 27.6% claim that parents’ influence is the main factor responsible for early girl child marriage. 5 of respondents representing 3.3% claim that peer pressure is a factor responsible for girl child marriage. 15 respondents representing 10% claim that gender inequality is a factor responsible to early girl child marriage.

Table4.3: Distribution of the respondents on what age is appropriate for marriage with respect to girl child education

Respondent                          Frequency (n)                     Percentage (%)

11-13                                           -                                             -

14-16                                          30                                         20

17-19                                          50                                         33.3

20-25                                          70                                         46.7

Total                                           150                                        100

Source: Questionnaire, 2021

    The above table 4.3 shows that 30 of respondents representing 20% claim that the appropriate age for marriage is between 14-16 years. 50 of respondents representing 33.3% claim that the appropriate for marriage is between 17-19 years. 70 respondents representing 46.7% claim that it is between 20-25 years

Table 4.4: Distribution of the respondents on consequences of early marriage with respect to girl child education

Response                              Frequency (n)                       Percentage (%)

Death                                       20                                                       13.33

Health risk                               30                                                      20

Lack of education                     50                                                                33.33

Domestic violence                     50                                                              33.33

Total                                     150                                                       100                            

Source: Questionnaire, 2021

      The above table 4.3 shows that 20 respondents representing 13.3% claim that death is a consequence of early marriage. 30 respondents representing 20% claim that health risk is a consequence of early marriage. 50 respondents representing 33.3% claim that early marriage causes illiteracy. 50 respondents representing 33.3% claim that early marriage causes domestic violence.

4.3       Discussion of Findings

     From the above table 4.3, it can be seen that the most appropriate minimum age for marriage is between 20 & above with respect to girl child education. This will enable the person to have access to education up to her graduation as well as her social development. This is consistent with the findings of Molokwu (2000), which suggest that the marital age is above the age of 18 years, when the individual is physically, socially, academically and emotionally matured to cope with the challenges of marriage. Thus, marriage within the age of 18 & above can be said to be appropriate, considering the period required for a person to be matured and acquire a graduate qualification.

     On the factors responsible for early marriage as show in table 4.2, the most common factor responsible for early marriage is poverty. This is consistent with the findings of  Forward (2008), Where poverty is acute, also, parents may regard young girls as economic burden and their marriage to much older rich men becomes very attractive and beneficial to the girl and her family. He concluded that a daughter may be treated as a commodity that the family has to be traded and sometimes girls are used as currency to settle debts or stabilize relationships between families.

     On the impact of early marriage on education, the responses gotten from the respondents make it clear that early marriage is detrimental to girl child education. This is in line with the findings of professor Junaid 1993, it can be deducted that marriage (pre and post) constitutes the greatest factor in the inability of the girl-child to acquire formal education. As a young spinster, it is a favored option to continued schooling and as a wife; it is the barrier to continued education.                            

       Finally, the study revealed that education is the most paramount instrument required to abort early marriage. According to UNICEF 2009, getting and keeping girls in school may be one of the best ways to eventually foster consensual marriage and blissful married life, while also contributing to delayed sexual initiation, lower rates of HIV/AIDS and other morbidities and greater gender equality. Therefore, education is a good weapon for combating early marriage.   

 

 

 

 

 

 

            CHAPTER FIVE

SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1 Introduction

     This chapter represents the summary, conclusion and recommendations for this study.

5.2 Summary of Major Findings

  As stated earlier in the first chapter of this study, the project comprises of five chapters in all. In the first chapter of the research, a general introduction about the study has been presented. More so, the objectives of the study were stated in the chapter one of the research, the aim was to investigate the effect of early marriage on girl child education in Wamakko local government. The following are major findings of the study.

1.      The most appropriate minimum age of marriage should be between 20-25 years of age. Marriage below the age of 20 is not advisable to girl child as it affect the education of the girl child

2.      The predominant factor responsible for early marriage is poverty

3.      Early marriage has serious effect on the education of girl child. It denies children of school age their right to education they need for their personal development and their effective contribution to the future well-being of their family and society.

4.      Education is the most paramount instrument required to abort early marriage, as the research perceived its prevalent more in the northern part of Nigeria where educating a girl-child is a waste of resource.

5.3 Conclusion

        Early marriage is a practice as old as the culture of the people of Wamakko, just as it is in the entire northern Nigeria. It is a phenomenon that has impacted rather negatively in the education of girl children in this part of the country. Girls are denied the opportunity to go to school in order to be full-time housewives at a very early age.

     These have created a very stiff resistance to efforts by governments and other groups to improve the situation.

5.4 Recommendations

1.      The efforts of government and other concerned groups should be re-double towards producing the impetus for parents to send their girl children to school

2.      The cost of schooling should be reduced for parents, through the provision, free of charge of learning tools and materials to pupils by governments.

3.      Governments and NGOs should sustain their poverty alleviation drives, especially for women and rural communities.

4.      There should be sustained campaign by leaders of communities and of thought for female education.

 

 

REFRENCE

Abdallah, B. A. (201l): Girl Child Marriage and Women Development in Nigeria: Contemporary Issues”, Journal of Development and Psychology 14(9): pp.248-259

Adedokun, G. N., Tochukwu, H. E. and Adedeji, 0. 0. (2012): “Early Childhood Marriage and Early Pregnancy as a Risk to Safe Motherhood”, A Report on the Regional Conference on Traditional Practices Affecting the Health of Women and Children in Africa, 19-20 Nov. ICA

Angen, MJ. (2000). Evaluating interpretive inquiry: Reviewing the validity debate and opening the dialogue. Qualitative Health Research. 10(3) pp. 378-395.

Ango, R. G. (1991): “The. Impact of Girls’ Education on Early Marriage”, Independent Evaluation Report: CAMIFED and CAMA Programmes Zimbabwe, September.

Bayisenge, J. (2012):’ “Early Marriage as a Barrier to Girl’s Education: A Developmental Challenge in Africa”, Journal of Social Psychology 12(6): pp. 23-48.

Bunting, A. (1999): “Particularity of Rights, Diversity of Contexts: Women, International Human Rights and the Case of Early Marriage, Doctoral Thesis, University of Toronto, Faculty of Law.

Erulkar, A. and Bello G. (2004): The Experience, of Adolescence in Rural Amhara Region Ethiopia. UNFPA, UNICEF, and ‘Population Council. Population Council: New York.

Forward 2008 Available at http//dx.doi.org/10.29322/IJSRP.8.10.2018

Giyan, H. A. (2009): Women and Education: Equity and Equality. Berkley: McButcheon.

Junaid M.I.  (1993)- Basic Education in Sokoto State: A Situation Analysis.

Lloyd, C.B. and Mensch, B.S. (2005), “Marriage and Childbirth as factors in School Exit: An Analysis of DHS Data from sub-Saharan Africa”, Population Council 219,

Malhorta, Warner, McGonagle & Lee-Rife (2013) Solutions to End Child Marriage: What the Evidence Shows. International Center for Research on Women.

Molokwu, B. (2000), “Gender assessment: Issues and Perspectives”, Rwanda ISP Kigali, Rwanda

Nigerian Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), 2009

Nwokolo c. “counselling against early marriage of the girl child in anambra state.  Edo Journal  counselling 2012;22:45-50

Otoo-Oyortey, N. and Sonita Pobi. (2003), “Early Marriage and Poverty: Exploring links for policy and program development. The Forum on Marriage and the Rights of Women and Girls in collaboration with the International Planned Parenthood Federation.

UNFA 2013. State of world population 2013; motherhood of childhood; facing the challenge of adolescent pregnancy . new york; UNFA

UNFPA. (2006): “In ending child marriage, A guide for global policy action International Planned Parenthood Federation and the Forum on Marriage and the Rights of Women and Girls. U.K.

UNICEF (2001): “Early Marriage: Child Spouses”, Accessed on 8th August, 2013 www.unicef.org/childmarriage

UNICEF (2004), “Child Marriage Advocacy Program: Fact Sheet on Child Marriage and Early Union.

UNICEF (2005): Early Marriage: A Harmful Traditional Practice. UNICEF: New York, USA. www.unicef.org/childmarriage

UNICEF (2009), State of World’s Children: Child Protection from Violence, Exploitation and Abuse.

UNICEF (2010): “Child Marriage Advocacy Program: Fact Sheet on Child Marriage and Early Union

UNICEF 2014 available from; www.unicef.org/protection/57929-58008.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

            This questionnaire is designed to gather information concerning Effects of Early Marriage on Girl Child Education in Wamakko Local Government.

            The success of the research depends greatly on how you answer the questionnaire. Therefore, would very much appreciate if you will answer the questions in the best possible manner.

            All information you give are for the research purpose only and will be treated with strict confidentially.

Thank you.

INSTRUCTION

a.     All questions are to be answered by ticking the appropriate option provided.

b.     Where written response is required be clear and straight forward.

 

SECTION ‘A’

Section A: personal Data

1. Sex

(a)   Male   (b) female

 

2. Age

(a)   10-19   (b) 20-30  (c) 31-40 (d) 41-50  (e) 51 & above

3. Marital status

(a)   Married  (b) single

4. Educational qualification

(a)   Qur’an/school certificate

(b)  NCE

(c)  HND/DEGREE

(d)  Master’s degree

(e)  Any other, please specify

5. Age at marriage

(a)   Below 15 years

(b)  16-20 years

(c)  21-30 years

(d)  31 years & above

6. Occupation

(a)   Farming

(b)  Business/ trading

(c)  Civil servant

(d)  Unemployed/student

Section B

1. What age do you think should be the most appropriate minimum for marriage with respect to girl child education?

(a)   10-13 (b) 14-16 (c) 17-19 (d) 20 & above

2. What is your view on early marriage?

(a)   It’s a good practice (b) it’s a bad practice (c) none

3. What are the factors responsible for early girl child marriage in your area?

(a)   poverty (b) traditional/religious belief (c) parents’ influence (d) gender inequality

 

4. Early marriage affects girl child education

(a)   Yes (b) no

5. Early marriage has health effect on girl child

(a)   Yes (b) No

6. Girl child marriage is open to domestic violence and sexual abuse

(a)   Yes  (b) No

7. Girl child marriage has maternal, mortality and morbidity effect

(a)   Yes  (b) No

8. Early marriage has psychological implication on girl child

(a)   Yes (b)No

9. Have any of you or your daughter suffered any complications of pregnancy?

(a)   Yes (b) No

10 If yes, what were the complications?

(a)   Prolonged obstruct labor (b) child disability (c) maternal death (d) VVF

11. What will you suggest as ways of addressing girl child marriage?

 

 

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