EFFECT OF EARLY MARRIAGE ON FEMALE ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE IN NIGERIA: A CASE STUDY OF THREE SOUTH-WESTERN UNIVERSITIES
The study examined the effects of early marriage on the academic achievements of married female students in Nigerian Universities
More specifically, the study sought to assess the educational and non-educational effects of early marriage on the academic achievements of married female students
The purposive sampling technique was used to select 225 female married students in UI, UNILAG and FUTA
183 respondents duly participated in the survey. A well- developed questionnaire was designed to elicit information from the respondents
The data collected were subjected to the quantitative techniques of descriptive statistics and the chi-squared was employed to test the hypotheses at .05 significance level
Results from the study indicated that the prinicipal reason for early marriage in Nigeria is poverty.
Also, it was found that early marriage has significant educational & noneducational impact on d academic achievement of d respondents
Based on this, d study advised that strong legislative mechanism should be instituted to eradicate d occurence of early marriage in Nigeria.
1.1 BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY
Birth, marriage and death are the standard trio of key events in most people’s live. But out of these three events; ‘marriage’ is a matter of choice. The right to exercise that choice was identified as a principle of law starting from the Roman era and has been established in the international human right instruments. Yet, many girls enter into marriage without any choice of exercising their right to choose. Most of them are forced into marriage at their early or tender age. Others are simply too young to make a matured decision about their marriage partner or about the consequences of marriages itself. They may have given what passes for ‘counsel’ in the eyes of the law, but in reality, consent to their binding union has been made by other on their behalf (Bunting, 2012).
The axiom is that once a girl is married she has automatically become a woman regardless her age. Early marriage, which is marriage of children and adolescents below the age of 18 is still widely practiced most especially in the Northern part of the country. There are various forms and causes of early marriage, but one issue is prominent, which is early marriage is a violation of human right. The right to free and full consent to marriage is recognized in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and in other human right instruments (Shehu, 2010; Bunting, 2012). Early marriage has profound physical, intellectual, psychological and emotional impacts, which has the capacity to dash away the educational opportunities and chances for personal growth. it almost leads to pregnancy and childbearing, and is likely to result into a lifetime domestic and sexual subservience.
For many young girls in developing countries, marriage is perceived as a means of securing and protecting their future. Girls are forced into marriage by their families while they are still children in the hope that marriage will yield them returns financially and socially (Shobba, 2009). On the contrary, early marriage violates the rights of children with negative implications. It compromises their overall development, leaving them socially isolated with little or no education, skills and opportunities for employment and self-realization. These conditions ultimately make married girls susceptible to poverty. These girls are required to do a disproportionate amount of chores, which includes new roles and responsibilities as wives and mothers. The young bride’s status in the family is frequently dependent on her, demonstrating their fertility often within the first year of her marriage. At this time, she is not psychologically, emotionally and physiologically prepared for these roles. Additionally, girls are made responsible for the care and welfare of future generations while still children themselves. Young mothers with no decision-making powers, restricted mobility and no economic resources are likely to transmit this vulnerability to their kids. Therefore, early marriage directly compounds to feminization of poverty and intergenerational poverty.