A Critical Survey on Public Awareness and Compliance With Media Campaigns on Child Marriage in Northern Nigeria

CHAPTER ONE:

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Pre- mature marriage, also known as child marriage, is defined as any marriage that occurs before a girl gets to the age of 18 and is physically, physiologically, and mentally ready to take on the duties of marriage and motherhood (Ibeh,2015). While more women are marrying in their thirties in comfortable nations, 20 to 50 percent of women in developing countries are married before the age of 18, with the greatest rates in West Africa and South Asia(Mathur,2003). In this zone, the background of early marriage must be understood in the context of poverty, gender inequality, cultural taboos against premarital sex for girls, religious views, and patriarchal predispositions to regulate female sexuality. It is also true that every civilization has its own culture, with certain fundamental rules and ideas that govern the people. Early marriage of the girl-child was permitted in Nigeria, especially in Northern Nigeria (Hausa – Fulani dominant). According to Erulkar and Bello (2007), the reasons for early marriage acceptance in the Northern area include to maintain the value of virginity, concerns about marital sexual activity, to decrease girl-child promiscuity, and other socio-cultural and religious norms. However, because of their ignorance and selfish character, they often overlook the impact on the girl-child as well as the growth of their society. The fact that the girl-child has no ability to refuse the offer is sad, unsettling, and worrisome. However, public awareness of the troubling problem of child marriage is increasing, as more people, non-governmental groups, and policymakers join forces to educate parents about the negative effects of early marriage and the risks it presents to the child and the society as a whole. The media informs the public about health issues and warns them about potential dangers. “Newspapers serve as a watchdog in our society, alerting the public to potential dangers and new trends,” Dominick says. Readers use the newspaper to obtain information about and interpretations of current events. Human interest articles and advice columns serve as tools for everyday life and social interaction. Newspapers aid in the formation of readers’ perceptions of themselves and their surroundings. Newspapers, particularly in the case of early marriage, teach readers what is important and meaningful by placing articles in and on their pages(Ibeh,2015). Despite government and civil society efforts to raise awareness, many individuals lack clear information and positive attitude adjustments to prevent child marriage. To increase awareness, media outlets have aired culturally sensitive radio programs on Harmful Tradition Practices (HTPs), such as child marriage, to raise awareness. Surprisingly, compliance has been strong since many families in Nigeria’s northern states are letting their daughters to grow before marrying them off(Ogala,2013). Public Awareness and Compliance with Media Campaigns on Child Marriage in Northern Nigeria is set against this backdrop.

1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

The matter of child marriage is gaining fresh attention among policymakers across the globe. This is due in part to the fact that, despite attempts by many developing nation governments to discourage and even ban the practice, child marriage remains widespread(Ogala,2013). As previously stated, it is a violation of the rights of girl children who are forced to marry young, and it has a significant impact on their lives through significantly reduced educational opportunities, health complications, a higher risk of contracting HIV/AIDS, and higher infant mortality rates with early pregnancies), as well as increased risks of domestic violence and strains on the nation’s economy(Nguyen,2013).

The use of the media to raise awareness, knowledge, good attitudes, and practice is a strong approach. Many community-level intervention programs now suggest media components as a way to accomplish the targeted behavioral changes, according to baseline surveys documentation. The media has had a role in promoting change by instilling new values, attitudes, and behaviors that are supportive of and capable of assisting modernization. Broadcast, print, and other kinds of media communicate with the public, educating and shaping their views (Oduah,2013). Communication may be used to convey information to the public through the mass media as a method of distributing and exchanging information with others. Also, owing to a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, illiteracy, poverty, indebtedness, culture, religion, and others, the degree of compliance with these efforts has been low. In light of this, the research looked at public awareness of child marriage and compliance with media campaigns in Northern Nigeria. The issue of child marriage is gaining fresh attention among policymakers across the globe. This is due in part to the fact that, despite attempts by many developing nation governments to discourage and even ban the practice, child marriage remains widespread. As previously stated, it is a violation of the rights of girl children who are forced to marry young, and it has a significant impact on their lives through significantly reduced educational opportunities, health complications, a higher risk of contracting HIV/AIDS, and higher infant mortality rates with early pregnancies), as well as increased risks of domestic violence and strains on the nation’s economy(Ogala.2013).

The use of the media to raise awareness, knowledge, good attitudes, and practice is a strong approach. Many community-level intervention programs now suggest media components as a way to accomplish the targeted behavioral changes, according to baseline surveys documentation. The media has had a role in promoting change by instilling new values, attitudes, and behaviors that are supportive of and capable of assisting modernization. Broadcast, print, and other kinds of media communicate with the public, educating and shaping their views. Communication may be used to convey information to the public through the mass media as a method of distributing and exchanging information with others. Also, owing to a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, illiteracy, poverty, indebtedness, culture, religion, and others, the degree of compliance with these efforts has been low. In light of this, the research looked at public awareness of child marriage and compliance with media campaigns in Northern Nigeria.

1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

The primary objective of this study is as follows

  1. To examine if there is awareness on early child marriage among the people on the Northern part of Nigeria.
  2. To find out if there have been compliance of the media campaign on early child marriage
  3. To examine the effect of early child marriage on the child from the  Northern part of Nigeria.
  4. To investigate the strategies the media can use to improve the campaign against child marriage.

1.4 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES

The following hypothesis have been formulated for the study

H01: early marriage does not have effect on the child from the Northern part of Nigeria.

H02:  there is no awareness on early child marriage among the people on the Northern part of Nigeria.

1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This study will examine survey on Public Awareness and Compliance with Media Campaigns on Child Marriage in Northern Nigeria

This study will be significant to national broadcasting commission as they will be able to improve on the awareness campaign on early child marriage in the Northern part of the Nigeria.

This study will also benefit the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.

1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY

This study will examine survey on Public Awareness and Compliance with Media Campaigns on Child Marriage in Northern Nigeria. The study will further,examine if there is awareness on early child marriage among the people on the Northern part of Nigeria. More so ,the study will find out if there have been compliance of the media campaign on early child marriage. The study will also, examine the effect of early child marriage on the child from the  Northern part of Nigeria. Lastly ,the study will investigate the strategies the media can use to improve the campaign against child marriage. Hence this study is delimited to Kano state.

1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:

Just like any other research, ranging from unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, inability to get data

Financial constraint , was faced by  the researcher ,in getting relevant materials  and  in printing and collation of questionnaires

Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher

1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS

Public awareness: the public’s level of understanding about the importance and implications of a certain programme or an activity.

Media campaign: a planned series of newspaper articles, television interviews, etc. that are intended to achieve a particular aim

Child marriage: the marriage or union between two people in which one or both parties are younger than 18 years of age

REFERENCES

Erulkar AS, Bello M (2007) The experience of married adolescent girls in Northern Nigeria.

Mathur, S., Greene, M. and Malhotra, A. (2003). Too young to wed the lives, rights, andhealth of young married girls. International Center for Research on Women (ICRW).Retrieved from: http://www.icrw.org/publications/too-young-wed-0

Nguyen, M. C and Wodon, Q. (2014). Impact of child marriage on literacy and educationattainment in Africa. Paper prepared for a task funded by the Global Partnership forEducation, UNICEF. Retrieved from http://allinschool.org/wpcontent/uploads/2015/0

Oduah, C. (2013). Facing child marriage in Nigeria. Retrieved from http://www.hufingtonpost.com/chika-oduah/child-marriage-nigeria

Ogala, E. (July 19, 2013). Throwback: Senate muzzles voices against Yerima’s marriage to13-year-old Egyptian. Premium Times. http://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/41286-throwback-senate-muzzles-voices-against-yerimas-marriage-to-13-year-oldegyptian.html

Ibeh, N. (May 20, 2015). Kano girl-bride who killed Husband Escapes Death, as case is Dropped. Premium Times. Retrieved from http://www.premiumtimesng.com/regional /nwest/183378-kano-girl-bride-who-killed-husband-escapes-death-as-case-isdropped.html

Ibeh, N. (May 20, 2015). Kano girl-bride who killed Husband Escapes Death, as case isDropped. Premium Times. Retrieved from http://www.premiumtimesng.com/regional/nwest/183378-kano-girl-bride-who-killed-husband-escapes-death-as-case-isdropped.html

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