Women's Health Science Journal (WHSJ)

ISSN: 2639-2526

Research Article

The Role of Marriage Brokers on Adolescent Girls’ Early Marriage: Qualitative Evidence-The Case of West Hararghe, Ethiopia

Authors: Tesfa A*, Berhane Y, Edossa W, Gulema H and Tewahido D

DOI: 10.23880/whsj-16000194


Marriages below the age of 18 are either forced or by own interest, influenced by different factors. The objective of this paper is to describe the role of marriage brokers in adolescent girls’ marriage in West Hararghe, Oromia region, Eastern Ethiopia. Qualitative data were drawn from a formative baseline (March to August 2016) and consecutive studies including the mid-term (May 2018 to August 2018) studies of Abdiboru, a Girls’ SRH and empowerment project. As findings demonstrate, adolescent girls below the legal age of marriage are forced to accept marriage proposals convinced by intermediaries/marriage brokers. Marriage brokers can be peers, relatives, elders or any skillful people in convincing and persuading girls. Marriage brokerage is commercialized and as a result, girls go through the burdens of early marriage and early child bearing. Marriage brokerage is a common act in the study area resulting in brokers to have a significant role on adolescent girls’ marriage. They play an inevitable role in arranging potential matches for adolescent girls. Programmers working on ending child marriage and related areas need to include these influential people in designing interventions.

Keywords: Human Rights; Poverty; Gender Inequality and Vulnerability; Childbearing

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