Socio -Cultural Factors Contributing to Child Marriages in Nakaloke Parish, Mbale District
Odongo, Rodah Jolly
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In spite of the global campaign to end child marriage, it remains one of the most pressing issues in the world today. Social and cultural factors have been identified as factors that contribute to child marriage. The specific objectives of the study were; to examine the beliefs and existing behaviour about child marriages that are approved, to find out the attitude people have towards child marriages and to explore measures to address and to reform harmful practices that result in child marriages. A descriptive cross-sectional design was used and the study was purely qualitative. By the end of the study data had been collected from eleven primary respondents through in-depth interviews. The study found that there are beliefs and existing behaviour approved that promote child marriages such as circumcision practice, belief that girls are a source of money, belief that men are few and fear of failure to get another marriage opportunity after first opportunity. The study also found that community members have negative attitude towards child marriages. The study finally found out educating and sensitizing the community, restricting children movements/ effective supervision, motivating children, disciplining children whenever found in a wrong path, providing support to families and girls vulnerable to child marriage, providing free access to education and empowering children economically and skill wise as some of the measures to reduce the practice of child marriages. Effort such as community sensitizations need to be adopted to reduce child marriage while further research should specifically focus on how social norms contribute to child grooms.