Stop underage marriage

Updated: 2014-12-24 11:05

(China Daily)

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Early marriages among some rural communities, which can be blamed on the lack of job and career development opportunities for rural youths, reflect the imbalanced development in China, says an article in Xinhua Daily Telegraph. Excerpts:

Marriage of teenagers is not rare in Jinping county of Southwest China's Yunnan province. Some girls have even given birth to children before reaching the legal age of marriage. The practice of early marriage in some remote villages can be attributed to obsolete family and fertility concepts in the countryside. But it can also be blamed on the dilemma facing rural youths.

In essence, lack of opportunities is a primary cause of early marriage. Because of the imbalanced distribution of education resources between urban and rural areas, many farmers' children have little chance of changing their future by acquiring higher education and thus feel that they have no choice but to become migrant workers.

Resigned to their fate, they decide to get married early, which also reduces marriage costs and lengthens the process of saving money for the future - for pensions, for example. Rural youths would not be rushing into matrimony if they had the same opportunities and faced the same problems that their urban counterparts do.

Early marriages have become common not only in the rural areas of Yunnan and Guizhou provinces, but also in other parts of the country. Since early marriages could give rise to a series of social problems, the authorities should take immediate measures to reduce the number of school dropouts, promote balanced educational development and launch campaigns to make people aware that education can help change a person's fate.

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