End Child Marriage in Kenya

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It is estimated that one in every four Kenyan girls is married before the age of 18, and one in twenty before their 15th birthday. Boring figures for Kenyans I may say; after all we are used to figures like 9 Billion, 1.9 Billion and the likes. Kenya has some of the most comprehensive laws and policies when it comes to child protection; but though the legal age of marriage is clearly set at 18 years’ girls continue to be subjected to this violation right, left and center.

Let’s be clear; with all the other factors held constant which Kenyan citizen does not know child marriage is illegal? The easiest route to evade the laws and have excuses has been ‘culture’. But who in the 21st century supports this ill culture?  Someone wake me up! a culture that promotes violation of little girls who have no idea of what marriage entails, is backward and should be condemned by all means possible, and the perpetrators have no place within the communities but belong to jail.

This ‘monster’ called child marriage continues to thrive in our country Kenya because of our ignorance as citizens, we have failed to be accountable to these little angles. There is no single girl or boy who exists in a vacuum. But we have chosen to turn a blind eye to this ill culture. The “Serikali saidia” mentality has made us slaves who cannot see wrongs and act to make them right. Which village in Kenya does not have a teacher, religious leader, chief or a responsible citizen like you and me?, well am not sure about you but am sure about me. Who bothers to follow up why a girl has dropped out of school or why she is no longer attending church?

All we do is sit, relax , watch TV and ‘slay’ around and then we are like “woishee I can’t imagine, did you see the news last evening! Aki those tugirls are married too young” Come on, wake up, come back to the reality it’s happening in your village and you are doing nothing. Simple actions like reporting to the chief, children’s officer or calling toll free numbers like child help line 116 or 1195 for Sex and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) can save thousands of girls and help protect and preserve the future generation.

Tony Mwebia

Tony Mwebia

Gender Equality Advocate, Writer, Activist & Consultant

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