TO THE STUDY
and death are the standard trio of key events in most people’s live. But out of
these three events; ‘marriage’ is a matter of choice. The right to exercise
that choice was identified as a principle of law starting from the Roman era
and has been established in the international human right instruments. Yet,
many girls enter into marriage without any choice of exercising their right to
choose. Most of them are forced into marriage at their early or tender age.
Others are simply too young to make a matured decision about their marriage
partner or about the consequences of marriages itself. They may have given what
passes for ‘counsel’ in the eyes of the law, but in reality, consent to their
binding union has been made by other on their behalf (Bunting, 2012).
The axiom is
that once a girl is married she has automatically become a woman regardless her
age. Early marriage, which is marriage of children and adolescents below the
age of 18 is still widely practiced most especially in the Northern part of the
country. There are various forms and causes of early marriage, but one issue is
prominent, which is early marriage is a violation of human right. The right to
free and full consent to marriage is recognized in the 1948 Universal
Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and in other human right instruments (Shehu,
2010; Bunting, 2012). Early marriage has profound physical, intellectual, psychological
and emotional impacts, which has the capacity to dash away the educational
opportunities and chances for personal growth. it almost leads to pregnancy and
childbearing, and is likely to result into a lifetime domestic and sexual
For many young
girls in developing countries, marriage is perceived as a means of securing and
protecting their future. Girls are forced into marriage by their families while
they are still children in the hope that marriage will yield them returns
financially and socially (Shobba, 2009). On the contrary, early marriage
violates the rights of children with negative implications. It compromises
their overall development, leaving them socially isolated with little or no
education, skills and opportunities for employment and self-realization. These
conditions ultimately make married girls susceptible to poverty. These girls
are required to do a disproportionate amount of chores, which includes new
roles and responsibilities as wives and mothers. The young bride’s status in
the family is frequently dependent on her, demonstrating their fertility often
within the first year of her marriage. At this time, she is not
psychologically, emotionally and physiologically prepared for these roles. Additionally,
girls are made responsible for the care and welfare of future generations while
still children themselves. Young mothers with no decision-making powers,
restricted mobility and no economic resources are likely to transmit this
vulnerability to their kids. Therefore, early marriage directly compounds to
feminization of poverty and intergenerational poverty.
leads to early pregnancy and motherhood, which adversely affects the education
of girls in schools. Inspite of the recognition of women education, there are
many barriers in the way of women to get higher education and contribute their
maximum impact to the betterment of the society. The mindset of the society
does not allow girls for higher education in that, it promotes gender
inequality and ensures prioritization of economic resources for boy-child
(ren). They get fewer opportunities not only in education, but also in all facets
of life (Daraz, 2012). Studies conducted by Goldien (2007) revealed that many
young married women face many problems and leave their education uncompleted
due to different social and cultural factors. Even if they are fortunate to
complete their education, their performance is abysmally poor. This termination
of education and abysmal poor performance in their studies is the outcome of
the challenges encountered when combining education with their responsibilities
as home-keepers in their families.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
is a symbol of poor orientation. Throughout the world, marriage is regarded as
a moment of celebration and milestone in one’s life. Sadly, the practice of
early marriage involves the deprivation of fundamental human rights. Young
girls are robbed of their youthfulness and required to take on roles, they are
not emotionally prepared for. Majority of the young girls have no choice about
the timing of marriage or about their partner. Some are coerced into marriage,
while others are too tender to make an informed decision. Premature marriage
deprives them of the opportunity for personal development as well as their
rights to full reproductive health, wellbeing, education and participation in
There has been
consensus in literature that early marriage disrupts, disturbs and distorts the
academic performance of female students, but these does not imply that all
students involved in early marriage perform poorly in education. Early marriage
poses great threat to the academic performance of students coerced into it. Poor
attendance to class, limited time to read and study, digressed focus from
academics to families’ welfare, withdrawal at times and poor time management. All
these challenges have been identified in existing literature as the effects of
early marriage on female academic performance.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
objective of the study is to examine the effect of early marriage on female
academic performance in Nigeria, using a case study of three south-western
The specific objectives
of the study include
identify the possible reasons for early marriage in Nigeria.
examine the educational effects of early marriage on female academic
performance in Nigeria.
examine the non-educational effects of early marriage on female academic
performance in Nigeria.
with the research objectives, the questions of interest raised in the study
are the possible causes of early marriage in Nigeria?
are the educational effects of early marriage on female academic performance in
are the non-educational effects of early marriage on female academic
performance in Nigeria?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
A hypothesis is
a proposition made on the basis of limited information and evidence, which is
used to make a valid conclusion and judgment. The hypotheses formulated in this
Early marriage has no significant educational effects on female academic
performance in Nigeria.
Early marriage has no significant non-educational effects on female academic
performance in Nigeria.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
study through its findings is of immense benefits in the following areas:
will gain from this study by learning that education is the only way to
achieving greater goals in life, and this will help them in correcting the
instability that had existed in girl’s education.
gain a great deal in this study by getting to learn that women education is not
a waste, and also if you educate a man, but if you educate a women you educate
a family, a nation, and this will help change their attitudes and ignorance
towards girls education.
the Federal, State and Local levels will gain from this study by realizing from
this study that funds, higher access education, poverty easing programmes
should be made available for education at all levels.
educational planners, the general public will gain from this study by learning
that girls are in no way inferior to men, they also gain by learning how to
educate, guide and counsel girls in carrier choices of educational courses.
1.7 SCOPE AND
LIMITATIONS OF THE STUDY
focused on the effect of early marriage on female academic performance on
Nigerian women who have experienced early marriage in three selected
South-western Universities namely University of Lagos, University of Ibadan and
Federal University of Technology, Akure.
research has some constraints which are:
a) Dearth of
Research Material: The research materials available to the researcher are
insufficient, thereby limiting the study.
b) Time: The
time frame allocated to the study does not enhance wider coverage as the researcher
has to combine other academic activities and examinations with the study.
of the respondents to participated in the survey for fear of victimization.
The study relied
on primary data for the empirical analysis of the study. The descriptive survey
research design coupled the purposive sampling technique were adopted to select
225 female married undergraduate students in the three universities of interest
namely University of Ibadan, University of Lagos and Federal University of
Technology, Akure (FUTA).
and standardized questionnaire was used to collect data from the respondents. The
data obtained were analyzed using the descriptive statistics technique and the
chi-squared technique was employed to test the two hypotheses that guided the
study at 0.05 significance level.
1.9 DEFINITION OF TERMS
is defined as the process of easing learning, or the learning of knowledge,
skills, values, beliefs, and habits.
Marriage: Early marriage or child marriage is defined as the
union between two people in which one or both parties are younger than 18 years
Performance: Academic performance is the outcome of
education, the point to which a student, teacher or institution has achieved
their educational goals. Academic performance is commonly measured by
examinations or continuous assessment but there is no general agreement on how
it is best tested or which aspects are more important.
(2012); The Fundamental Human Rights: Diversity of Context. New York, Mc-Graw
(2012); Child Marriage in Rwanda Refugee Camps. Journal of Social Issues, 3(4):
(2007); Early Marriage and Motherhood in Sub-saharan Africa. Sage publications,
(2010); Poverty of Economically Deprived Women and Children in Emerging
Countries. International Journal of Social Issues, 29(1):73-86.
(2009); Community Attitude towards Female Education in Nigeria. International
Journal of Academic Research in Public Policy, 2(2): 970-976.