Kenyan Woman Fights To Stop ‘Early Marriage’ Practices
6:00 pm, July 18th | by Laura Simmons
In the small Kenyan village of Kajiado, the culture is dominated by Masai customs — one of which dictates that young girls are traditionally promised to marry older men. Generally the young girls are between the ages of 12 and 14 and sometimes they are even younger. But one woman in Kenya has made it her mission to end this practice.
Priscilla Nangurai is fighting to rescue young girls from early marriages and instead provide them with the opportunity for education. Nangurai developed GRACE (the Girls’ Rights Attention, Care and Education rescue center) in her backyard and has rescued 700 girls since 1986. Her goal is to provide young girls with a safe alternative to their early marriages and grant them an education to help support them in the future. Nangurai argues that the Masai should want to educate the young girls so they have the opportunity to get a good job with a good salary and ultimately replace the dowry system that comes with early marriage.
This practice of “early marriage” has sparked controversy within the village — not only for the limitations it imposes on girls but also for the physical alterations these girls endure during the process. Most of the time these girls are too young for child bearing and they are usually forced to quit school and undergo female circumcision before they are wed, a practice that the World Health Organization has condemned. It’s easy to see why Nangurai is fighting this.
[Via Voice of America]