Early Marriage in Uganda
Once upon a time, there lived a girl called Rema in the village known as Bulyasime. This girl came from a poor family where they could only eat supper and they would not see anything to eat during lunch.
Rema’s father was called Tito, and he was a lazy man who could not look after his family. Rema was 14 years old and she was in Senior Two at Bulyasime High School. This girl was nice looking and she was attempted by many boys at school or on the road.
Being beautiful or handsome is good, but it is also bad; Rema was attempted by one boy whose name was Rogerous, who nicknamed himself “wanted,” and Rema also loved him. Due to too much love, they decided to be together, and in that process, Rema got pregnant.
When she was 14 years old, Rema was chased away from school and from home, and she went to her boyfriend’s house. Reaching there, she found Rogerous’ mother washing clothes, and the girl started crying.
Rogerous’ mother asked her, “What is the problem?” The girl said, “Rogerous impregnated me.” The mother became unconscious and died. Rogerous decided to keep Rema for all his life because they loved each other. Rogerous decided to take back Rema to school, and Rema is now at university. They live together happily, since they love each other.
Most girls might read this story and think about how lucky Rema was, but they should not do the same thing, since not everyone will be so lucky. I advise girls to remain patient so they do not suffer in the future. A report by the International Centre for Research on Women found that pregnancy is the second most likely cause for school drop-out. I think that if there were strict laws put in place about school drop-out among girls, then this would not be such a problem.
Christine Nangobi is a member of the Teen Voices program of the women’s empowerment organization, WIL Uganda–Women in Leadership. She is 14 years old and wants to have a career in law when she is older. Christine strongly believes in gender equality and is against early marriage for girls in Uganda.