In a video interview, Judith Bruce explains that financial concerns can take much of the sentimentality and romance out of marriage.
In low-income countries especially, marriage becomes more of an arrangement by which women’s time, labor, and fertility are ceded as an essential economic exchange.
Judith Bruce was among the first to illuminate the scope and negative impact of child marriage—including violence and discrimination. She insisted on the term “child marriage” rather than “early marriage,” as the latter suggests a desirable precocity, concealing the fact that child marriage is arguably the most regularly occurring and serious human rights abuse.
“Society doesn’t acknowledge the extremely diverse and heavy burdens that females carry economically from very young ages. One of the really important differences between the male and female experience is that pretty much everywhere, especially in the developing world, sexual, marital, and labor markets for females are completely connected and aligned.”
Watch the video on Big Think.