General

Marriage: The Nigerian Perception

Charity Obiyo Written by C-Baby · 1 min read >

The institution of marriage is globally accepted by all mankind. This is regardless of culture, religion, and ethnicity. It is of the opinion that there are three days that are very important in a man’s life; the day he is born, the day he marries and the day he dies. He is only opportune to decide/witness only one day out of these days, and such day is he’s wedding day Abimbola Adebimpe Allen (2017).

It is also believed in Nigeria that a man that has a failed marriage will likely fail in other aspect of life and mostly he is not privy to take decisions or be given important position in the society. This also attribute to the high pressure for marriage in Nigeria as men and women enter the institution of marriage for societal, financial and cultural reasons as against the main reason for marriage which is love and for companionship. Unfortunately, this has led to high divorce rate, domestic violence, broken homes and even child marriage.

Marriage is view in most part of Nigeria as one of the greatest accomplishments a woman should have. Hence, the need to train/equip a girl child with this knowledge at a tender age is very essential as it is believed that the success of marriage determines one’s importance/value in the society. It is mostly believed that once a girl is of age and she is still single, it is probably that she is from a bad family, uncultured, ill-mannered, unlucky or under spiritual attack. To avoid all these stigmas, the parent of the girl particularly the mother starts teaching and preparing her on how to portray herself to the society, cultural values, domestic chores (especially good cooking skills) and most importantly, the need to subject to a man’s authority which usually takes place from the adolescent age.

Consequently, she focuses more on getting the attention of men, on how to get married and raise children by reading books on marriages rather than investing in academic books. Hence, giving less priorities to her studies by discovering herself or purpose in life and how to be of value to the community or the nation at large.

I am not of the view that the cultural values to marriage is bad as I believe that a good home begets a good society. But I believe a girl should be left to decide if she wants to be married, have kids or not. The emphasis and pressure from the society for marriage has led to unprepared individual going into it or even worst girl child marriage so as to avoid shame by the parents and unwanted pregnancy. As published by Oxfam Novib “A woman is worth more as a wife than as a daughter. Women and girls who transgress these norms face four main kinds of sanction: peer pressure, condemnation, exclusion and force” Veen, Saskia van (2018).

The need for a girl child to discover herself is very essential as this will make her make better decisions in life, even in areas of marriage. #MMBA3

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