Child Marriage: a Solution to Social Problems! Claims Malaysian MP

What did the Malaysian MP respond to a proposal banning child marriage?

-“Nothing wrong” with rapists marrying their victims.

Apparently, MP Shubudin Yahaya believes that a victim ought to marry her rapist in order to avoid a “bleak future” because perhaps, “through marriage they can lead a healthier, better life.” as “She will have a husband, at least, and this could serve as a remedy to growing social problems.”

I just do not seem to understand how child marriage can be a SOLUTION to social problems rather than a social problem in itself. I feel the need to be enlightened.

Not only that, but Yahaya also stated that some 12-year-old girls are “physically and spiritually” ready to marry, as they have bodies of those of 18-year-old young women.

So instead of banning child marriage, Malaysia has witnessed the advancement of child rape and pedophilia. Of course, the immediate response of the MP was to claim his remarks about rape were “out of context” . Just how much out of context were they to justify what he said?

Child marriage has been a systematic problem in Malaysia and continues to be a challenge we face world-wide. The international community has invested persistent efforts in abolishing this phenomenon. Yet, permitting the union of a rapist and his victim in many countries in order to “protect the honour” of the victim continues to be a contributing factor to increased child marriage.

Early marriage poster project

What “social problems” does this kind of union solve? When a victim marries her rapist, when a child is married off early, what is this solving, and how is it not a problem in itself? Child brides have little access to sexual and reproductive health and that kind of union can lead to increased STDs and other diseases as well as maternal death. The Child bride will be left uneducated and thus vulnerable to further abuse. She will continue to be raped throughout her life, as there is no such a crime as “marital rape” in Malaysia and many other countries. It happening behind closed doors and in the context of marriage seems to be enough to silence the families of the victim as long as the “honour” is preserved. Of course, to them, “honour” is the intact hymen of a young woman.

A larger social problem will evolve throughout the years if child marriage is not banned. Unstable households will proliferate,which in turn yield unstable societies. The children of those marriages will become victims of rape themselves and the problem of rape culture will continue to perpetuate. Rape culture yields violent and more extreme communities characterized by high rates of honour killing, ignorance and poverty.

So tell us, MP Yahya, exactly what social problem will be “solved”?


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