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Early Marriage And Women Empowerment A Study Of Awo Idemili In Imo State




The study investigates Early Marriage and Women Empowerment in Awo idemili of Imo State. The sample size for this work is 220 respondents. For data collection the quantitative and qualitative research instrument of data collection will be adopted for this study. Questionnaire served as the main data collection instrument used. For the univariate data analysis, simple percentage and frequency distribution will be applied, while the chi-square will be used for the bivariate data analysis in order to elucidate information that has to do with relationship in two or more variables.  Lack of education, the lower value placed on girls’ education, school drop-out, gender-based violence (including sexual violence) and early pregnancy, can be both causes and consequences of child marriage. In many societies, women and girls are subject to deep-rooted norms, attitudes and behaviours that assign them a lower status than men and boys within the household, the community and in society at large. These beliefs deny girls their rights and stifle their ability to play an equal role at home and in the community. Steps should be taken to reconstruct public awareness that women also have an important role in the family and community development, through revitalising existing social institutions in rural communities.



  • Background to the Study

Early marriage is any marriage entered into before one reaches the legal age of 18 Victor (2017). Though both boys and girls could marry early, the norm in many countries around the world is that more girls than boys marry young and someone older. In Mauritania and Nigeria, for instance, “more than half of married girls aged 15-19 have husbands who are 10 or more years older than they are” (UNICEF, 2014). Resilient and interlinked socioeconomic and normative factors (e.g. poverty, illiteracy, traditionalism, patriarchy, etc.) undermine women’s status, capabilities and choices, and ensure early marriage continues unabated in many developing countries (UNHCR, 2019). As a harmful traditional practice, though it is more common in developing than developed countries, there are substantial variations between and within regions of the world and countries (Center for Research on Women; 2015).

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Early marriage is not only a serious public health issue Lawrence (2017). It also exacerbates domestic violence and undermines women’s status and decision-making powers Cyril (2016). It increases women’s risk of intimate partner sexual violence, for it is built on spousal age gap, power imbalance, social isolation and lack of female autonomy. Globally, some 30% of girls (aged 15–19) experience violence by partners (WHO, 2014).

There are various factors contributing to the existence of early marriage including male dominancy, parent’s ignorance, and social forces (Manwa, 2014). Early marriage is most likely to occur among girls who are poor, have low education level, and live in rural areas. It denies girls opportunities to educate and to build life skills, separates them from family and friends, compromises their ability to assume health promotion practices and seek timely care, and enhances their vulnerability to considerable health and social problems (Manwa, 2010, Nair & Murray, 2015). Recent evidence argues that early marriage can be associated with adverse consequences not only for teenage girls but also for children they bear (Manwa, 2014). High rates of unintended pregnancy, abortion, preterm labor, delivery of low birth weight babies, and fetal and maternal mortality are observed among teenage girls and are strongly correlated with early marriage. Moreover, the girls who are married as teenagers are also affected psychologically and they are more likely to experience depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. They are especially at risk for physical and sexual violence within marriage (Collins, Jordan & Coleman, 2010). WHO reports that 29 percent of all ever partnered teenage girls experience intimate partner violence.

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1.2 Statement of the Problem

Early marriage is not only a serious human rights violation driven by socio-cultural factors and poverty but it is also a significant barrier to women and children’s health, as girls have not yet attained full maturity and the capacity to act autonomously. The associated risks on wellbeing and health due to early marriage are widely acknowledged. Young girls who married early begin child-bearing soon after marriage leading to increased health risks from complications in pregnancy, low infant birth weight and often death during delivery. Other risks for young married girls are due to their short-birth spacing and higher chances of contracting HIV. Inadequate access and under-utilization of healthcare services are additional reasons for poor health outcomes of young married girls as their decisions to seek care are set back because of their low household wealth and low education. Hence, policies that advocate and support later marriage for young girls has significant health benefits both for young married girls and their children.

1.3 Research Questions

The study is guided by three research questions.

  1. What is the frequency of early marriage in Awo idemili in Imo State?
  2. What are the challenges facing young women due to early marriage?
  3. How does early marriage undermine women empowerment?

1.4 Objective of the Study

The main objective of the study is to examine early marriage and women empowerment in Awo idemili. The specific objectives includes

  1. To determine the the frequency of early marriage in Awo idemili in Imo State.
  2. To inquire of the challenges facing young women due to early marriage.
  3. To determine how early marriage undermine women empowerment.
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 1.5 Research Hypotheses

  1. There is a significant relationship between early marriage and women empowerment in Awo idemili.
  2. There is a significant relationship between age and women empowerment in Awo idemili.
  • There is a significant relationship between education and women empowerment in Awo idemili.

1.6 Significance of the Study                      

The finding of the study will create awareness on the early marriage and women empowerment a study of Awo Idemili Also, the study will also reveal the challenges facing early marriages and proffer possible solutions to the problem.

The study help policy makers to know whether to review the laws one early marriage or not.

The study will also serve as guide for related researches.

1.7 Definition of Key terms/Operationalization of Concepts  

Early marriage: Early marriage, or child marriage, is defined as the marriage or union between two people in which one or both parties are younger than 18 years of age.

Women Empowerment: can be defined to promoting women’s sense of self-worth, their ability to determine their own choices, and their right to influence social change for themselves and others

Awareness: refers to knowledge of situation or fact.

Pages:  73

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF         

Chapters: 1-5              

Source: ImsuInfo                                         

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.



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