IMPACT OF EARLY MARRIAGE AND THE PREDICTOR OF REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CHALLENGES AMONG ADOLESCENT GIRLS A CASE STUDY OF UNIVERSITY COLLEGE HOSPITAL, IBADAN, OYO STATE

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IMPACT OF EARLY MARRIAGE AND THE PREDICTOR OF REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CHALLENGES AMONG ADOLESCENT GIRLS A CASE STUDY OF UNIVERSITY COLLEGE HOSPITAL, IBADAN, OYO STATE

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Although the prevalence of early marriage is declining, considerable proportions of young women continue to marry as children, that is
before age 18 (Mahmud 2005). It is globally recognized that early marriage truncates girls’ childhood and circumscribes several rights of the
girl child as outlined in the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), including the right not to be separated from their parents
against their will (Article 9), the right to freedom of expression (including seeking and receiving information and ideas, Article 13), the right
to education (Articles 28 and 29), the right to rest and leisure and to engage in play and recreational activities (Article 31) and the right to
protection from sexual abuse, harassment and exploitation (Article 34)(Graham 2002). However, an increasing body of evidence from
diverse settings shows that the long-held assumption that marriage is a safe haven for adolescent girls is untenable and that a number of
health challenges are associated with early marriage. This article synthesizes what is known about the links between early marriage and
sexual and reproductive health vulnerabilities of adolescent girls in developing countries like Nigeria.
Adolescent sexual and reproductive health (ASRH) comprises a major component of the global burden of sexual ill health. Although
overlooked historically, international agencies are now focusing on improving ASRH and providing programmatic funding. Adolescent
sexual and reproductive health rights are based in various legal instruments: in 2002, the UN General Assembly Special Session on Children
recognized the need to initiate, develop and implement health policies and programs for adolescents that promote their physical and
mental health( Janz 2014); in 2003, the Committee of the Convention on the Rights of the Child issued a General Comment recognizing the
special health and development needs and rights of adolescents and young people(Langille 2000). Other supporting instruments are the
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the right to health—a concept included in
various international agreements such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the international Millennium Development Goals,
which include indicators to reduce and eradicate if possible pregnancy rates among 15–19 year old, increase HIV knowledge among
adolescents, and reduce the spread of HIV among young people. Various terms are used to categorize young people: “adolescents” refers to
10–19 year old (divided into early [10–14 years] and late [15–19 years] adolescence); “youth” refers to 15–24 year old and “young people”
refers to 10–24 year old. In the world today, approximately half of the population is under 25, with 1.8 billion people are between 10 and 24
years of age—90% of whom live in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and many experiencing poverty and unemployment(Mago et
al 2005). While sexual initiation and sexual activity vary widely by region, country, and sex, in all regions young people are reaching puberty
earlier, often engaging in sexual activity at a younger age, and even marrying earlier(Mahat et al 2001); consequently they are sexually
mature for longer before marriage than has historically been the case. The risks of neglecting Adolescent sexual and reproductive health are
much; a painful or damaging transition to adulthood can result in a lifetime of ill effects. For girls, early pregnancy/ motherhood can be
physically risky and can compromise educational achievement and economic potential. Adolescent girls in particular—face enormous risk
of exposure to HIV and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), sexual coercion, exploitation, and violence. All of these have huge impacts on
an individual’s physical and mental health, as well as long term implications for them, their families, and their communities. An
adolescent’s sexual and reproductive health is strongly linked to their particular social, cultural, and economic environment. In addition to
regional variation, experiences are diversified by age, sex, marital status, schooling, residence, migration, sexual orientation, and
socioeconomic status, among other characteristics.

STATEMENT OF THE GENERAL PROBLEM

Despite national laws and international agreements forbidding early marriage, this phenomenon is still widespread in many developing
countries especially in Nigeria. The consequences of early marriage in Nigeria has had numerous consequences on the girl child ranging
from health consequences, social consequences to educational consequences and all these have continuously militated against the
preservation of the rights of the girl child. the menace of early marriage has led to the hazardous exposure of the girl child to diseases and
all forms of sexual and emotional torture which to a large extent has aected the society in the country.

PURPOSE OF THE STUDY

The major aim of the study is to examine the impact of early marriage as a predictor of reproductive health challenges among adolescent
girls in Nigeria. Other objectives of the study include;

  1. To assess the level of early marriages in Nigeria.
  2. To examine the impact of early marriages on the reproductive health challenges of adolescent girls in Nigeria.
  3. To assess the reasons for early marriages in Nigeria.
  4. To examine the relationship between early marriage and productive health challenges among adolescent girls in Nigeria
  5. To examine the major causes of reproductive health challenges among adolescent girls in Nigeria.
  6. To recommend ways of reducing early marriages in Nigeria.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

The study would greatly improve the educational and social development of the adolescent girl as it would reveal the impact of early
marriage on reproductive health challenges in Nigeria. The study would also be of immense benefit to students, research and scholars who
are interested in developing further studies on the subject matter.

SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

The study is restricted to the impact of early marriage on reproductive health challenges among adolescents girls in Nigeria using the
university college hospital Ibadan as a case study

LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or
information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on
the time devoted for the research work.

IMPACT OF EARLY MARRIAGE AND THE PREDICTOR OF REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CHALLENGES AMONG ADOLESCENT GIRLS A CASE STUDY OF UNIVERSITY COLLEGE HOSPITAL, IBADAN, OYO STATE

IMPACT OF EARLY MARRIAGE AND THE PREDICTOR OF REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH CHALLENGES AMONG ADOLESCENT GIRLS A CASE STUDY OF UNIVERSITY COLLEGE HOSPITAL, IBADAN, OYO STATE