Senegal Growing Up Over Marriage

Issa Sikiti da Silva – IPS – Friday, 01 March 2013 (originally published 25 Feb)

Child bride at work with two men looking on
Child brides in rural Senegal at work. Marriage before the age of 18 is a generally common practice in Senegal, with 16 percent of young women getting married and give birth before reaching 15. Image: Issa Sikiti da Silva/IPS

DAKAR, Feb 25 2013 (IPS) – When Abdoulaye Ba heard his local Imam in Dakar, Senegal, speaking out against child marriage, he found that the idea was not very palatable to him. As head of his family, he had intended to marry off his three teenage daughters.

Ba told IPS that he had had “big plans” for his daughters aged 12, 14 and 17. But now he is realising that it might not be the right thing for his children.

He talks about the issue with his Imam, Ibrahima Niasse, from time to time, he said. “I think the more we talk and he puts his arguments on the table, the more I begin to understand that whatever reasons we have for pushing our kids to wed at an early age, they are nothing but a myth” . . .

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