Full Story on Child Marriage in 5 ASIAN Countries
Full Story on Child Marriage in 5 ASIAN Countries
Child Marriage, now millions of more young girls are destined to become child brides the UN says if current trends hold many will be under the age of 15 so how old is too young to marry and what are the reasons behind the marriage of minors this is the full story.
It is a culturally sensitive issue and one that draws a range of reactions from different countries and different communities the marrying off of young girls critics argue it’s fraught with danger damage and discrimination a violation of human rights.
The UN is worried it’s predicting that a hundred and forty million girls will become child brides between 2011 and 2020 that’s more than 14 million girls a year it says will marry too young or 39,000 each and every day and it’s warning that out of these Fifty million.
Will be below the age of 1 5 Muraki is one of the countries where child marriage is on the increase latest figures show the number of young girls getting married rose to 35,000 in 2010 that’s up from 30000 just two years.
Before rights groups are calling for a total ban on the practice and the government looks set to bow to pressure to change a law allowing those accused of raping minors to escape punishment by marrying their young victims for Full story
A young lady has opted to share her tragedy in a quiet garden in the Moroccan city of Meknes far from the house where she once lived as a reluctant and frightened child bride Meredith 13 can illiterate her husband divorced her after just a year of marriage even though he abused.
Her he remains a free man luckily Mahara he gave me red pills under the pretence that it was for my appetite when I took the pill I would sleep for 24 hours and awake to find I had been tortured my whole body was full of wounds.
I felt pain everywhere I couldn’t hide while the mask is the director of an online blog in Morocco she receives testimonies like these by the Dozen on the website she created two years ago the sites dedicated to female victims of discrimination.
That the Moroccan law may not pretend Van Deventer hizaki take the case of a 23-year-old woman who is already the mother of an 8-year-old girl from her latest marriage this exposes a kind of human trafficking failed behind the legality of marriage voilá fit you girl, yes regional Moroccan law prohibits girls and boys under the age of 18 from getting married but judges can use their discretion on a case-by-case basis.
The Justice and Development Party wants to make 16 the minimum age activists are calling for an outright ban on the marriage of minors Mukesh it’s not enough to protect women and girls from violence feminists and human rights movements under the umbrella of the springtime of dignity group have demanded the revision of the Penal Code entirely and have presented very thorough proposals.
The proposals they hope will not just protect young girls but eliminate child marriage altogether Russell couch for full story allow me to introduce you to our guests in Nairobi Kenya the tire former child bride / Kenya is founder of the Kenya centre for excellence a girl’s primary school in Kenya joining us from Islamabad is Sadoff Raza from the ideas for life.
Trust promoting among other things women’s rights and education and from my London studios Naomi Williams from the global children’s charity plan welcome all three of you thank you very much for joining us Coquina you were a former child bride engaged at the very young age of five tell us about your experience I grew up in a Maasai village.
That’s where I was born and raised and the age of five I was engaged and was supposed to be married as soon as I reached 12 years old but because of the hardship that my mother was undergoing I needed a different route I but gained with my father that.
You know that he would not let me get married at a younger age so I can continue with school and be able to help them in the future what sort of impression did it have on you knowing that you were getting married and I should imagine that some of your friends were not as lucky as you and did get married at a child age what does the impact on them.
I think that you are aware, we spent childhood in a society that doesn’t know otherwise we moulded and shaped as soon as we start walking and being told how to be a become a perfect wife, you are trained to collect water firewood helped raise there are less young siblings and everything around you is really to affect you to become that perfect wife at the age of Twelve (12).
I grew up where we didn’t know otherwise I went to school I was lucky because my mother dropped out of education when she was in class four, she is aware and knew that if she had carried on with her life would not have been miserable and she became my role model and the teachers that were in school the ladies from other communities.
I looked up to them and I thought that that’s the life I wanted that becoming a mother at 12 years old now me you contributed to this report on child marriage tell me about your findings.
How prevalent it is that a lot of people felt that well this was normal, yes well plan International is really proud to be part of a global coalition of organizations called girls, not braids that are supporting this event and report in New York.
That’s a global movement of organizations in over 50 countries that are working to end child marriage indeed this is a global crisis that we are facing every day 39,000 girls are being forced coaxed requests to marry and we know that that has quite a devastating change on the lives on many along with lives of their communities and it cannot most often mean that they are forced to leave their education the opportunity to fulfil their potential.
When it also puts them at great vulnerability to violence abuse and trying to and taxing sexually transmitted infections including STD and HIV, and all know that death in pregnancy and childbirth is the leading cause of premature expiry for girls aged 15 to 19 in the developing world.
You know their young bodies just aren’t ready and to be going through pregnancy and childbirth so this is a global crisis that we need to urgently address and that’s why plan through our because I’m a girl campaign is advocating for an urgent into this practice sort of Pakistan has massive problems.
Our own has now me pretty much described exactly what’s happening there yes definitely at the moment if I go to the figure of girl child marriage in Pakistan that is 37 per cent and that is from a UNICEF report.
Now the situation here is that though it’s not like sub-Saharan countries and it’s not that alarming and that way that is why it has not taken so gravely but when I see and interview women who have been passing through this.
Who have spent a lifetime into it there are different stories now in Pakistan the context is that we have a tribal feudal culture which we whitewash with religion so most of these girls which we see who are married at a young age are victims of you know practices like 1e and Swara.
What does that exchange about their marriages and the well they don’t have a choice and it’s a lifetime of misery for them then up afterwards now research suggests that girls who get married when they young are at greater risk from violence and health problems?
I think you’ve all touched on that the International Centre for research and woman says girls younger than 15 are 5 times more likely to die in childbirth and women in their 20s and pregnancy is now the leading cause of death worldwide?
For women aged 15 to 19 in the developing world, it adds that girls are married before 18 are more likely to experience domestic violence and sexual abuse and child brides affected in this way share feelings of hopelessness helplessness and severe depression get Kenya do child brides suffer from more violence?
Abuse because they’re just too young to be able to put a stop to what’s happening to them exactly and I think that you know we the reason why I really focus on education is to one really to empower the girls to be able to speak up they when they are married young they are most likely to be abused they are most likely you’ll see a lot of sexual harassment.
There are a lot of obviously we’ve talked about that you know the debts were during childbirth and all that and then most importantly they’re their dreams are really destroyed their life becomes that of they you know they grow you know old when they’re young and their childhood is robbed they’re from them.
That is a very sad story because a girl has a dream the same way a boy has and my focus and a focus of the organization is really to empower the girls to give them a chance to go to school so they can you know get an education so they can better their lives and the longer they stay in school they would not be married at a younger age.
They will not they’re likely to speak up against all the violence that goes on around them now I saw you nodding your head there I guess that education education education is key so that they can stand up and speak out have the confidence to do that and also better empower their families and the end game to that is to bring them out of poverty.
Eventually yes you know the plan is campaigning very hard for girls to be able to complete a quality education you know we’re calling for girls to be able to complete at least nine years of quality education
Yes as you’ve mentioned one of the main reasons behind that is the education can provide a viable alternative to girls you know in contrast to child marriage and us know from our experience working with communities.
If you increase not only a girl understanding of her rights and the power and potential of education but also work with her family and her community and traditional and cultural leaders and to really help them understand that education can be viable.
Alternative I mean we knew that if you educate a girl she’s much more likely to be healthier as is her family and children and indeed gone to help in poverty for her country and indeed the world education cycle though that if it’s happened to the girl it’s likely to happen to her child as well that she will eventually find nothing wrong with it.
I think um you know these are very held deeply rooted and cultural norms that we are working with here but I think that’s really key to the approach that plan takes is that we work alongside communities to support them is base and what we do is working with traditional and cultural leaders we work in over 55,000 communities around the world
When we work with them to do their own advocacy and awareness-raising activities to really challenge those deeply rooted causes to child marriage not surprisingly this has prompted some strong discussion online and these comments come from our Facebook page
Matt Gillard says child marriage is culturally specific for sure just because it opposes a Western ideology that doesn’t make it wrong Maria al shimmie says that this practice is disgusting these marriages are cultural and only to satisfy the parents with some even selling their children I don’t care what culture it is abhorrent rabbinic EML says I totally agree with those who marry at a younger age because it protects them from sexual harassment rape illegal sexual relationships so it is preferable.
I think all three ladies agree actually that that’s not true in this case Tolliver adds who are you to rob them of their emotional and mental stability to rob them of a life that they could have enjoyed before settling down those are children the son of let’s pick up on that cultural point that was raised do you think that this could be a Western cultural issue but you know in Pakistan the situation is very specific so I’m going to talk about in context to Pakistan.
The biggest problem women face is that at time of conception she’s been made the custodian of family honour now she grew up with this responsibility and her position is really precarious in the community even a raised finger a raised brow can ruin her family future.
Each and everything that is one very big reason because of which parents usually in the rural areas of Pakistan like send some areas of sending then South Punjab some areas of KPK and Balochistan they give.
They marry their daughters at very early ages and I’m talking about not like in the teens but even before that like nine and ten at least they are put into that make up the contract of Nika and the mod in the marriage contract and the marriages come you mated supposedly after puberty so protection and security are one very biggest issue because women girl being the custodian of this honour the family honour there are blood feuds they are enemies.
Often the women fall victim to all this so this is one you know the situation and this mindset, of course, is what we thought and we need to change this mindset regarding girls that people need to take responsibility for their own honour and do not put women at that position where she receives all this just because she’s been placed in that position now in Pakistan the most this is one situation
Another situation is that girls are not to welcome warmly in their home birth of a girl child is not a happy occasion she is an economic-financial burden and as soon as possible parents want to get rid of her now that is another situation which puts her at the receiving end to all this especially to this early girls marriage or you know you know teenage marriage.
If you call it we are one of those countries where we if you are familiar with this we are we have a marriage restraint act on it’s been passed in 1929 but unfortunately even with that legislation we have the recorded number as I have given as 37 and of course if you rely on you know if you look at it otherwise then girls are getting married at 12 13 and 14 there is an important point.
The fact that piece is calling on rely on the law I mean can you say that your father was a policeman and you had to go behind his back to get what it is that you want how would it be possible to impose law when cultures don’t agree with that law Kenya.
I think you know sometimes I think we are so afraid of implementing laws that are there and in the reason why some of our cultures are still behind it because they are not educated about the effects of early marriages they’re not educated that you know they’re seeing the effect.
But they don’t know they’re not linking that a child is dying when she know she dies she can die during childbirth because she’s young her body is not there seeing these things but because education is not given to them, they are likely to stay in that thing
I think it’s not about imposing the laws it’s about educating the people about the importance of letting the girls continue with school the importance of letting them know that they delay their marriage they don’t end up going into poverty they don’t end up you know their lives don’t end up there.
So it’s really not about the impulses imposing the law it’s about educating the people about the law so if people are educated there’s more chance that the law will then take hold there now let me just go back to something we were talking about the impact of girls.
I find this particularly horrible forcing young girls into sex and childbirth I mean it can rip the vaginal walls and in Colonel ruptures calls called fistulas they can get which can lead to lifelong incontinence.
I mean basically leaking urine and feces I should imagine that can make them into pariahs in their community, yes I mean I think picking up on the issue we’re discussing around culture when the facts are very clear that marrying young has severe health as well as mental risks for girls they experience severe and vulnerability to violence and abuse and medical problems as you’ve mentioned.
That’s why you know we see this as a human rights issue and the culture of silence just cannot continue while 14 you know over 14 million girls are facing you know this risk every year so you know there’s an increasing and truly global movement of diverse organizations that are coming together to say that your cultural arguments can no longer be used when these are the facts.
You know now is the time we have quite a historical opportunity that’s taking place right now and we need to get behind that and join the plan to end child marriage.
Let’s talk about the biggest perpetrators the UN has identified 42 countries where one in three children under the age of 18 are married statistics gathered over the last decade found that in both proportions.
Numbers most child marriages take place in rural sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia Nazaire has the highest rate seventy-five per cent of girls they’re married before the age of eighteen Bangladesh is ranked the highest in Asia sixty-six per cent moving down.
African countries feature prominently Mali with 55 per cent Burkina Faso for example with 48 per cent now it said if I want to talk a bit about Jordan that I was quite interested to find that many of the child brides are taking place there ceremonies are taking place there because of the Syrian refugee problem.
I mean just something like that become a breeding ground a happy hunting ground for four men who want to marry young girls if it is Lake you know if you go back in time and if you revisit the one war and when they you have any huge influx of you know migrants and they’re coming from you know this war situation.
This happened then Peshawar in the ’80s and in the 90s as well girls coming from uprooted families from Kabul and from you know different provinces of Afghanistan and getting into you know marriage contract at a very young age because the parents were really worried about yes I can see that if it is happening in Jordan I have a chance of living in Syria as well so I do understand.
The trend is to marry girls in you know maximum in nineteen twenty twenty-one so of course, when this situation is going on definitely this must be one of the issues on the minds and this many issues.
I know it’s a particularly gruesome subject that we’re dealing with today and in the Parthenon that we’ve been talking something like 1500 girls have been married Naomi there is light, neither at the end of this tunnel nor in the story is it going to get any better um yes.
I mean I think you know today is we’re talking a key meeting is taking place at the United Nations Commission on the status of women and plan and a whole host of organizations are supporting the Commission on the status of women to make really strong commitments towards ending child marriage and indeed a whole group of organizations are supporting the United Nations.
To work towards a UN resolution on child marriage and we believe that that can really galvanize momentum both at the international but also at the national level and to agree really concrete action plans towards ending child marriage and that can mean working at the community level.
I mentioned with traditional and religious leaders to really try and overcome all of the aspects of a girl’s life that leave her more vulnerable to child marriage and quais at the Commonwealth level.
Commonwealth Heads of Government in their last communique came out and committed to taking measures to end child marriage so we’re really seeing a huge and movement.
The move forward towards ending child marriage and you know the plan and other organizations are really supportive of that you know we cannot afford to miss this opportunity okay Kenya do you feel that there is some sort of momentum to stop this and give women and children the respect that they deserve.
I think it’s it comes from both level I think that there’s a lot of international speaking and a lot of national but until we really empower the local communities to you know to take action it can just become a talk and I think I go back to the reason that I have been able to work for the UN.
I sometimes you feel that yes the laws are there but who is going to be implementing them you start talking about the chief who is not you know the chief is coming from the same locality who believes on the same laws you know who believes in the same cultural issues so we really it really has to come in both ways.