Perception of early marriage in Tororo district
Anyango, Mary Immaculate
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Early marriage is a serious threat to the lives and health of the young girls. This study aimed to explore the perceptions of people on early marriage in merikit sub county in tororo district. A mixed study designed was employed where the researcher collected both quantitative and qualitative data concurrently. Quantitative data was analyzed using spss, while the qualitative data was analyzed manually. 5 focus group discussions, 20 key informant interviews, and 80 randomly selected respondents in different communities of merikit were interviewed. Each focus group included 9 participants, both having and not having experience of early marriage. Different themes and subthemes regarding the ideal age of marriage, attitudes towards early marriage, reasons for early marriage, positive and negative effects of early marriage emerged from the respondents. Most respondents identified early marriage as inappropriate social behavior that should not be practiced. The reasons for early marriage include poverty, lack of education, peer influence, and orphan children, among others. Divorce, poverty, and death were the main disadvantages of early marriage. Negative effects of early marriage include death, divorce, poverty, misunderstanding, much work, risk of hiv/aids, among others. In order to stop early marriage, the government should improve on education, law enforcement, guidance and counseling of children, providing welfare, and sensitization, among others. These people meet challenges like language barrier, difference in decisions of parents, ignorance, rigid cultures, lack of communication skills, lack of funds, disobedience, and many others while trying to solve the problem of early marriage. In conclusion, there is generally a negative attitude towards early marriage, and its disadvantages are well recognized in merikit sub county. However, different religious, educational, economic, traditional, and social factors encourage early marriage in the community. This study recommends for further research to validate that poverty is the major cause of early marriage, using the economic status of the community, further investigations on lasting solutions to end early marriage in tororo, that is to say there should be an in-depth study to find the solutions so as to deal with early marriage.