Do women lose marriage equality after the wedding?
In a recent article, The Curse of Early Marriage, the author believes that marriage equality is non existent after the wedding. In Dhaka, Bangladesh the tradition for marriage begins at the age of twelve years for most women. It is not the early age of the women that contributes to marriage inequity, it is the basic model for marriage that the people of Dhaka do not follow that contributes to the proposed marriage inequality.
In an effort to equalize marriage equality in Dhaka, Bangladesh officials have implemented an emphasis on the education of girls and better access to health care. This plan of action is a result of a recent study by the development organization Plan Bangladesh and the nonprofit International Center for Diarrohoeal Disease Research. The study showed that 64 percent of the women aged 20-24 were married before the age of 18. As A result of the early marriage and early motherhood, the women were subjected to a host of social and health problems which include incidents of domestic violence to the increased risk of child and maternal mortality.
Bangladesh officials responded to the study by lowering the marriage age to 16. The minister for health and family affairs believes that the real problem is when the girls decide to elope This offsets the danger of the sexual maturity of the girl to the family. The marriage is a form of controlling the sexual behavior of the young girl.
In Bangladesh the meaning of marriage equality is different than that in many other countries. For example, marriage equality in the United States is consistent with same-sex marriages. Same-sex marriage (also known as gay marriage) is marriage between two people of the same sex. Legal recognition of same-sex marriage or the possibility to perform a same-sex marriage is sometimes referred to as marriage equality or equal marriage, particularly by supporters. However, the meaning of marriage equality for the people of Bangladesh is the equality between a man and a woman.
The marriage customs in Bangladesh are predominately Muslim. About 89% of Bangladeshis are Muslims, followed by Hindus (8%), Buddhists (1%) and Christians (0.5%). The main duties o the husband and wife differ by religion which is the contributing factor to challenges with marriage equality.
According to the Holy Bible, through Adam and Eve, we are provided an example of the model for the perfect marriage. Genesis 2:7, records that …”the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul”. God placed the man He created in the Garden of Eden. Then God created a habitable environment for him, which included trees that were pleasant to the sight and good for food. God placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the Garden of Eden too. God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden “… to dress it and to keep it” (Genesis 2:15).
Dressing and keeping the Garden of Eden was Adams original purpose. The word ‘dress’ in the Hebrew is ‘abad, which means to work as a servant. The word ‘keep’ in the Hebrew is shamar, which means to protect. God placed Adam in the Garden of Eden to work as a servant in the garden and to protect the garden. Protecting the garden required that Adam become the steward of the garden. God granted Adam stewardship over the Garden of Eden. Stewardship requires a relationship between the master and the one that the master entrusts with the resources. In this case, God is the master and He entrusted the Garden of Eden to Adam.
God provided Adam with the path that he was to follow (Genesis 2:16 – 17). God instructed Adam on what he could and could not do. At that point and time, Adam maintained his relationship with God by obeying all of his commands.
God decided to provide Adam with a helper. Genesis 2:18 records …”The Lord God said , It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet”. That word ‘meet’ in the Hebrew is ‘ezer. Ezer means to help. Eve’s primary responsibility was to help Adam who was to work as a servant and to protect the Garden of Eden.
The original purpose for the union between Adam and Eve was to work together as a team to serve and protect the Garden of Eden. Hence, the original purpose for the marriage between a man and a woman is to serve and protect the resources that God gives to the husband and wife through teamwork. The key for the husband is to become a servant of God so that God will provide resources for the husband to protect which will enable the wife to help with the purpose that God gives to the husband.
When a man and woman better understand the roles in the marriage, they will not have to worry about marriage equality.
Highlighting the consequences of child marriage
Child Brides: Legal Marriage, Illegal Age?
Dr. Derrick and Mrs. Sheila Campbell
PO Box 1668 Blackwood, NJ 08012
Published books – Leading Your Marriage into the Promised Land -Leading Your Marriage into the Promised Land (Workbook for husbands & Wives) – Advanced Marriage Training for Singles
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Samaritan Baptist Church
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El Shaddia Christian Assembly