All posts tagged: Child Marriage

Isabelle Kubwimana (Youth Think Tank Researcher)

Involving Men and Boys in Efforts to Achieve a #BetterLife4Girls

One may wonder why men and boys involvement in matters like teenage pregnancies and child marriages is important. Well, it is clearly because behind every teenage pregnancy or child marriage, there is a male involved. In the wake of the movement to end child marriage and teenage pregnancy, young people, parents, religious, cultural  and community leaders have to be called to action. Because these are issues that affect girls directly, it is of peculiar interest how pivotal the male voice has to be to make sure that the plight of a better life for girls is heard. The fight for gender equality remains incomplete without male involvement as we stated earlier this year here on Girls Globe and we won’t repeat the statistics. One part of of our agenda, from our recently concluded community dialogues in the eastern part of Uganda on ending under-age marriages and teenage pregnancies by Reach A Hand, Uganda supported by UNFPA Uganda, was to capture voices of men and boys as a way to continue involving them in anti child marriage and teenage …

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10-Year-Old Girls are the Future of the World

According to the latest State of World Population by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), girls at the decisive age of 10 are the future of the world. At this age, girls are moving away from the world of childhood towards the world of adolescence and adulthood. In this season of life, it’s essential that girls be presented with opportunities, encouraged to dream big, given tools to pursue those dreams, and have access to education and health care. For many girls around the world, this phase of life is when they begin to face the reality of limited choices in life compared to boys and when they become more vulnerable to discrimination and gender violence. This reality needs to be changed, not only for the good of these girls, but also for the good of their societies and the world as a whole. Here are 4 reasons why investing in 10-year-old girls is good for the world: 1) Access to education is not only a human right, but it’s essential to helping girls achieve their full potential. …

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Safe and Sound: Building Emotional Resilience in Refugee Girls

The photos of Syrian families fleeing war to the safety of refugee camps in Jordan are gut wrenching, but their distress is only worsened by family separation, physical danger, trauma, overcrowding, and lack of information about family, food, and relocation. And, being a refugee girl creates a “double endangerment” due to age and gender, according to Goleen Samari, a fellow with the international education non-profit Humanity in Action. In Syria, this health vulnerability all too often often takes the form of rape, child marriage, and sex work by girls who then experience deep and lasting emotional distress. In fact, 2015 statistics show that girls under 18 make up 25% of all Syrian refugee marriages in Jordan. While parents say they arrange young marriages to prevent rape in camps, these marriages bring their own psychological consequences and risk for abuse of child wives. Additional risk factors include lack minimal access to education and menstrual products, adding to girls’ disempowerment, stress, and shame. These circumstances all point to the interplay of mental health and sexual health, with extreme stressors that precipitate conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder …

Child Marriage post

To #EndHIV4Her: Tackle Child Marriage

To say that child marriage and HIV among adolescents are linked feels a lot like stating the obvious. But I learned today, at Day 3 of the 2016 International AIDS Conference, there is very little formal knowledge to back that claim up. The overarching message from this morning’s discussion was a simple one; it is really difficult, if not totally impossible, to tackle HIV unless you tackle child marriage. On the one hand, girls and young women make up approximately two out of every 3 new HIV infections among people aged 10-24 years. On the other, 15 million girls per year are married before they turn 18. Two global problems of colossal scale with two sets of similar causes; gender inequality, poverty, rigid social norms, lack of education, inaccessible health information and services. And yet until recently, the relationship between the two has remained pretty much ignored. It was even suggested at one point that this session may well be a historic moment – recognition at last of their interwoven nature. Girls Not Brides, who hosted the panel, have created a fact …

‘I was married when I was very young,” says Maria, 14, pictured here. “I used to sell milk to get food and sleep in the forest because I [didn’t] have a place to sleep. Society should stop bad practices, because what I have been through was so hard for me. After my education, I would like to be a nurse so that I can help other girls like me.” 

Photo credit: Modestar, age 12/Too Young To Wed

Dreaming Big at WD 2016: Ending Child Marriage

‘I was married when I was very young,” says Maria, 14, pictured here. “I used to sell milk to get food and sleep in the forest because I [didn’t] have a place to sleep. Society should stop bad practices, because what I have been through was so hard for me. After my education, I would like to be a nurse so that I can help other girls like me.” Photo credit: Modestar, age 12/Too Young To Wed My dream is to end child marriage. I know it sounds naïve, but I refuse to believe that we can do nothing to keep children away from the bedrooms and kitchens of adult men. I advocate determinedly against the practice, often working directly with at risk adolescent girls in communities across the globe. Part of my dream is that those girls escape child marriage and then, empowered by their own story, join the fight to end the practice. I saw a bit of my dream manifest when I met Isatou Jeng at the 2016 Women Deliver Conference. Isatou is …

GG Post March 2016[3]

Boys in the GIRL4ce Movement

Written By: Sarah Otto, Help Lesotho Intern 2016 The International Women’s Day (IWD) campaign theme for 2016, #PledgeForParity, means that, “Everyone – men and women – can pledge to take a concrete step in achieving gender parity more quickly.” It is important to note that the IWD campaign highlights both men and women when they speak of taking the pledge, because gender equity will take the investment of both genders for it to become a reality. As an intern with the Canadian organization , Help Lesotho, in Lesotho, one of the first projects I experienced was the ‘GIRL4ce Movement (ie. Girl-force). The GIRL4ce Movement is doing its part in the fight for gender equity by engaging girls, boys, women and men on the issues of child, early and forced marriages (CEFM), girls’ rights, and sexual and gender-based violence. The GIRL4ce Movement empowers communities to address these issues by bringing awareness to the laws that affect CEFM so that community members can become advocates for themselves, and for girls and women. In Lesotho, CEFM is still a common practice and …

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Ending Child Marriage and FGM Saves Lives and Money

This post is co-written by: Rachel, Policy Associate and Salma, Egypt Fellow Around the world, women’s and girls’ value as human beings is all too often based largely upon their sexuality, rather than their personal and societal contributions. Disproportionately, girls around the world are pulled out of school, restricted in terms of where and how they can get around and with who whom they are allowed to speak. Many are forced into unwanted marriages. One of the most profound ways girls are affected is they’re often forced to undergo what is known as Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C). FGM/C is a type of surgery performed on young girls – in a misguided effort – to “preserve their purity.” This surgery can cause irreparable harm to girls’ health and, in some cases, can be deadly. Take, for example, Sohier Al-Batea, a 13-year old Egyptian girl, who died in 2013 after a trained and licensed medical doctor cut away parts of her external genitalia as part of a FGM/C surgery. Though universally considered a human rights violation, FGM/C …

MATERNAL & INFANT MORTALITY IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

ICFP 2016: Family planning as a human right

Featured image: UN Photo/Kibae Park On the shuttle bus from the airport I sat between a young woman from India and a young woman from Zimbabwe. Having traveled from three different corners of world, we all arrived ready to share our family planning knowledge and experiences while learning from others at the Fourth International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP). The United Nations recognizes family planning as a human right and this week activists, advocates, humanitarians, health practitioners, private sector representatives and scholars from across the globe are together in Nusa Dua, Indonesia to discuss how this human right can go from being a lofty goal to a global norm. At the heart of family planning is a woman’s right to choose whether or not  and with whom she will have children, as well as her right to control the timing, spacing and number of children she chooses to have. At this conference, we are reflecting on the challenges and opportunities in providing girls and women with access to this human right. As part of looking at and …

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Multi-Sector Approach to Ending Child Marriage

From November 26-27, the African Union held the first ever Girls’ Summit on Ending Child Marriage in Africa at the Government Complex in Lusaka, Zambia. The summit was sponsored by the African Union, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UN Women, International Planned Parenthood Foundation (IPPF), and more. Delegates from around the world – Ministers, First Ladies, Traditional Leaders, Survivors, Activists – gathered to present research, share compelling stories, ask thought-provoking questions, and discuss how to be the generation that ends child marriage. An estimated 1 in 3 girls is married before the age of 18. If this trend persists, approximately 150 million girls will be married before the age of 18 over the next decade, averaging 15 million girls each year. Disempowered and vulnerable, child brides are at greater risk of experiencing complicated pregnancies, gender based violence, AIDS, and poverty. While there is much to be done, I feel there are 4 action areas in particular that are crucial in combatting early child marriage. 1. Education is key Studies show that …

Photo Credit: UNICEF

My New Year’s Wish

Last night at a holiday party, amid Christmas cookies and carols, I was thinking about child brides. To be honest, I didn’t want to think about child brides; I just wanted to enjoy the party. But child marriage became personal to me in Ethiopia. Since that moment I’m constantly aware of how very interconnected my life is with that of the millions of girls forced into marriage. Child marriage became personal when I was conducting a life skills program with young women. After asking about the women’s expectations, one particularly engaged woman stood up and told her story. Married around age 11, she was repeatedly raped and beaten by the man who is still her husband. “I just want to know,” she said with a firm but emotional voice, “how to make my life bearable.” About two years after her marriage, she gave birth to her first child. I estimated ages, figuring that she must be somewhere between her mid-twenties and her early thirties. Then I came to a haunting conclusion: this woman was my …