Academic journal article Ahfad Journal

Factors That Shape Attitude of Sudanese Adult Men in the Omdurman Local Market toward Females' Marriageability

Academic journal article Ahfad Journal

Factors That Shape Attitude of Sudanese Adult Men in the Omdurman Local Market toward Females' Marriageability

Article excerpt


Marriageability is defined as the suitability for marriage, usually with reference to age and other factors. Child marriage is considered to be one of the violation against human rights Worldwide whereby, more than 700 million women today were married before they are eighteen years old and about 250 million entered into union before age fifteen (UNICEF 2012). United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimated that by the year 2020, 140 million girls will become child brides, without regarding factors of female marriageability (UNFPA 2014). Sudan House Hold Survey revealed that about 16 percent of girls have begun childbearing and 1 percent of them have had a live birth before age 15. Furthermore, 14 percent of women have had a live birth before age 18 years old (SHHS 2010). Sudan Survey of Family Health revealed that 9.5% of women age 15-49 were married before the age of 15 and 37.6% before their 18th birthday (UNFPA 2014).

Information regarding knowledge and attitude of male toward marriageability of women is not well documented (Center for Disease Control and Prevention 2006). Male attitude towards child marriage varies in different countries. For example, child marriage in South Darfur occurs due to the perception of males that early female marriage leads to utilizing the reproductive capacity of women and lead to bringing more children. Thus, the earlier the girl marries the more she will give birth to children and in that case she gets married even before she may be physically, or mentally considered to be fully prepared for marriage, in many cases she gets married as early as the age she undergoes female genital mutilation (El Hassan & Badri 2014). Moreover, the father considers child marriage as "sutra", which literally means "marriage is considered a way of protecting their young girls". Different studies displayed that, male consider girls to be guests in the father's home. Male also are shown to fear girls growing old in their father's house because they think that, "when the female is grown up she is grows to be more resistant to the male guardians" (Izeldeen 2014), as well educated females are shown to be difficult to convince if appropriate marriage opportunities (as seen by the male) guardian comes (Ibrahim & Fahimi 2013).

In most Sudanese household men are the breadwinners, a privilege which gives them the upper hand in decision making in all issues including marriage. This made women to possess a less control over their marriage fate compared to men (Izeldeen 2014).

Religious leader and tradition in Nigeria were shown to have a great power of influence over communities. Because of this Nigeria advocate religious leader and tradition as strong weapon as the strong decision makers for banding child marriage (Walker 2015; Funmi 2014). A study conducted in Bangladesh, India and Nepal to design a program aiming to prevent child marriage among girls showed that girls are rarely encouraged to express their opinions to adult males in the household especially at the time of marriage. The study also revealed that sex-selective abortion is another attitude in India that has led to a scarcity of marriageable females. Furthermore, young girls are sexually attractive to men highlights the importance given to men's desires (Verma et. al 2013; Mostafa 2012).

Reasons that set the girls to be considered ready for marriage vary from country to country and include protection against abuse and reduce economic pressure (UNICEF 2012). Moreover, because of families' perception regarding preservation of family honor (1) as well as families marry their daughter as the only option they have. Additionally, families advocate their child to marriage so as to get benefit from their bride price. Furthermore, in areas of conflict fathers usually marry younger female to protect them as a way of survival strategy (IPPF 2011). All these reasons behind considering girls to be ready for marriage are justified by cultural, tradition and religious arguments (WHO 2015). …

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