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Are men to blame for Africa's child brides?

Africa HYS team | 12:45 UK time, Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Every year, an estimated 10 million girls are married off before the age of 18 across the world. A lot of them in Western and Central Africa. Why is the practice so widespread?

Desmond Tutu (AFP)

Launching a "Girls not Brides" initiative in New York, Demsond Tutu argued that men have "aided and abetted" the continuation of child marriage. Do you agree?

Men tend to be political, traditional and religious leaders. They have the power to make things change. But they don't use it. Is this because men themselves benefit from child marriage?

If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Wednesday 21 September at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.




  • Comment number 1.

    Yes, the men are to blame for the Africa's child brides. There is a blind eye cast on the issue particularly by the political and religious leaders. The failure to speak out by the religious leaders on the pulpit, instead of preaching prosperity messages, is without excuse. I believe governments could do to put in place appropriate legislation.

  • Comment number 2.

    men are to blame for early child marriage after all its normally the fathers who instigate it and it is men who marry this young girls.the fact that a girl has received her periods doesn't mean she should get married.it is absolutely wrong and unfair to decide someone's future for them

  • Comment number 3.

    Nobody is to be blame. The problem is poorverty as these parents send their kids out for marriage so as to have some money to feed the family

  • Comment number 4.

    yes i agree with what he said.when you looks at it technically it is the responsibility of a man to have control over his family no matter how! most especially in African countries. so it is left for us to adopt changes when the conditions demands period!!

  • Comment number 5.

    As long as religions will be preached by MEN girls will be sacrificed at the alter of MEN's Religion.

  • Comment number 6.

    Everyone is to be blamed for child brides. Why would a parent give out their daughters for "so called" marriage? why would a society allow this? What a male Chauvinistic society we live in.

  • Comment number 7.

    I do believe it since most men want young virginal females, no matter how many partners they have had.
    It needs to start by educating women and that will have huge impact on stopping young girls being married to old ,en.

  • Comment number 8.

    I totally agree. In addition to the child marriage issue, I have initiated a charity with the objective of targeting men, as opposed to women as it currently stands, with regards to family planning and birth control. However, I do not have the funds to follow through that vision.

  • Comment number 9.

    It is very unfortunate that this is still happening at this age in time and the offenders just walk away unpunished, i blame on the erosion of our cultures and taboos and also moral decadence in our communities

  • Comment number 10.

    I really agreed with Desmond...... though nothing wrong with child bride but i think the girl is not ripe enough to take home responsibilities. these allows most men not been comfortable at home and such attracts respectful attitude towards the little bride.


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