The Birth Of Marriage And Marriage

1539 Words Dec 14th, 2014 7 Pages
Before marriage, girls are typically owned and controlled by their father. Men cannot own children without familial relation, that is, own child slaves or adopt non-relatives, but they dominate matrimonial ownership, and the father’s extended family is also considered responsible for the children’s well-being. It is not uncommon for children to be sent away to live with an extended relative in case of death in the family or the father’s inability to provide for the child despite the mother’s desires for her children’s upbringing. At the time of marriage, the rights of the father over his daughter are transferred directly to the husband. The matrimony process typically proceeds through four basic steps of payment, ceremony, cohabitation, and consummation. This final step implies that for a marriage to be considered valid, the woman must engage in sexual relations whether or not her body has achieved physical maturity. Moreover, the legitimatization marriage requires an exchange of gifts and other formalities that can be seen as payment for the bride, giving the husband sole control over his wife’s fate. Indeed, most legal marriage contracts give the husband control and responsibility over his wife. Thus for young African women, the practice of marriage is inherently about the creation and transfer of rights from father to husband, rather than entering into an equal or voluntary union. Contracted rights in a marriage agreement include not only ability to own land or…

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