At What Age Should Your Daughter Get Married?

I am asking at what age should women, not girls but women get married? I ask the question because the more i see, the more i question. I was reading the morning news as usual and I noticed that Nigeria’s incoming first lady has asked that girls no younger than 18 essentially shouldn’t be considered for marriage. I have a few thoughts following my reading the article..not directed to her per say, but just my thoughts.

Girls need to at least finish secondary school first -her primary position. Under the current Nigerian constitution i do not believe there is a marriage age – correct me if i am wrong, but it is said that once a girl sees her first menstrual period – she becomes a woman. I dispute this categorization obviously, because it is simply the beginning of blossoming into a woman. A 10 year old is not by any standards a woman – not emotionally, not psychologically and not physically either.

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Please what is the allure for marrying a 12 year old? There are many 18 year old virgins, so why aren’t these people willing to wait? Culturally in Nigeria, it is mostly the Northerners that marry girls under 16. What is the significance of a young wife? Is it prescribed by Islam? I ask because i don’t know of any Yoruba Muslims that marry off their daughters at 12. Is the bride price significant enough for you to put your child at risk of a plethora of health problems such as Fistulas or even death?

Do people not understand that for every disadvantaged woman or mother, you have more disadvantaged children? A mother who doesn’t know better cannot teach her children any better. I once heard from the founder of LAPO “for every poor man, there is a poorer wife and even poorer children”- because most times the mother is generally responsible for the well being and education of her children – not necessarily from a financial standpoint even, but daily care and influence. It is likely your mother was more involved in your daily life than your father as a child. I know that was the case for my siblings and I.

Given the level of poverty in Nigeria on the whole, does an empowered woman not make for a better spouse or partner?

I commend Mrs. Buhari for speaking up, there should be clear boundaries for marriage in terms of age. Eighteen – albeit a bit young is the legal age of adulthood generally accepted globally. It gives girls a chance to be better educated and be better able to serve themselves and their families.

Now lets just hope the new National Assembly members have not been busy marrying 13 year olds, and they can pass this into law soonest.

The Western World has also done a lot of hammering on the Girl Child in places like Northern Nigeria, did you know we have a boy child problem in Eastern Nigeria? This is conversation for another day….

What are your thoughts on the legal marriage age for Nigerian women? For me, i would not advise my female child to get married before 28, however if she chooses to, i can only pray for her and wish her the best. Forget about the biological clock argument, there are ways around that – its an issue of maturity and ownership of her woman hood and growing into herself. It also gives her a chance to make career decisions if she so chooses. Marriage is a long term commitment, i got married in my early 30’s and i can imagine if my husband and I live till we are 90, that’s 60 years tied to the same person… its a very long time if you ask me.

The giveaway for the week is an Insignia flex 10.1 tablet- 16GB.

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Please note the community member with the highest number of comments in total for the week – on all the posts from 11 May 2015 t0 16 May midnight wins the tablet as pictured above. Good luck to everyone. Item will be picked up either in Ikoyi or Victoria Island or Lagos Island by the winner.

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55 Comments on At What Age Should Your Daughter Get Married?

  1. I will allow my daughter get married when she’s done with tertiary institution and started working.

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  2. Ms pynk I totally agree with you…i think anything less than 28 isnt just matured enough n it will give you more time for your career but the thing is most people that get married at 18 or so hardly have career goals some people just want to be wives and mothers
    My daughter wont have to reach 28 to marry thou if she feels shes ready when the time comes but she will definitely be thru with uni and everything in-between

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    • Good point you made, though things are fast evolving we have young girls of in their early 20s, accomplished and well travelled( if that makes for achievement). If such a lady finds someone and wants to settle down I don’t think she should be held back

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    • But don’t you think that 28 is rather much. Menopause is real, and it would be kinda late to start then. Maybe 3 years younger?

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  3. lucynthia // May 14, 2015 at 09:35 // Reply

    Well, I think marriage is a big deal. 18yr old girls today still have alot to learn. So I personally think 23yrs is a good age for a girl to marry. At least at that age to a very large extent, she should be able to make proper choices.

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  4. Ok, this just happened in my office right now. I’m currently reading this page and a colleague sees it. We haven’t even gone far in d reading o. We are still at the part of the 10 year old and this idiot says he doesn’t really have a position on a 10 year old getting married. He says it can be argued on whether it’s right or wrong. Imagine the shock on our faces! I thank God for my other colleague who told him off immediately.
    I thought this only happens among illiterates, this guy schooled in the UK for Christ sake. We had to walk him out of our office. God knows I still feel like punching him in the face. We really have a long way to go in this country.

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  5. Zoe maybe he is just hoping to get a reaction out of you guys

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  6. Although there are ladies who married in their early 20s and it worked for them, I believe so much in mutual consent and I think my daughter will get married when she’s old enough to consent to an offer that’s just saying nothing less than 18 but sometime in her 20s as decided by her.
    The fact that my own parents do not really consent to getting married before graduating doesn’t mean I won’t though.
    Different folks…

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  7. No argument, NO NEVER, not in a million years.

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  8. To me once she through with her tertiary education,she is good to go.

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  9. I think women mature and become more responsible faster than men. My daughter will be encouraged to finish uni before considering any marriage proposals.

    My son will be discouraged from getting married until he is fully independent and has the resources to be responsible for 3 mouths. Might be closer to 30 for him.

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  10. The mistake people make in marrying out kids tho’. I fail to see the rationale behind such

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  11. For me I believe a woman should finish school as in university,and have a good job before contemplating marriage

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  12. I am not going to leave her at the mercy of a man,mba oh. One of the worst things to happen to a married woman is to be dependent on a man.

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  13. I think 25 is a good age. Of course she must have something going for her, educationally and financially.

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  14. lucynthia // May 16, 2015 at 21:38 // Reply

    Imagine! That guy should be slapped, punched and locked up in a psychiatric facility

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  15. lucynthia // May 16, 2015 at 21:42 // Reply

    10years! They’re babies. Children who know nothing.
    Schooling in the Uk does not guarantee common sense. Paedophiles re everywhere o..
    Some people still think like this o. That’s why we still have sick people raping children everyday.

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