The number of girls who marry before their 15th birthday has remained unchanged for 20 years in most countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The region has the highest rate of child marriage, with nearly four in 10 girls
married before age 18. In Niger
, for example, over 77% of girls are married before the age of 18.
October 13 began like any other day at the Lal house as Raja Lal and his wife Rita Raja left for work at 7:30 am.
"I made the usual breakfast of anda paratha (egg and flat bread) and told my eldest to lock the door from inside," Raja, who works as an ayah in a school, told IPS. Their 13-year old daughter, the youngest of their four children, did not go to school that day as her school shoes no longer fit and her parents hadn’t bought her a new pair yet.
Little did they know that that day was the beginning of a nightmare for the Lal household. Their daughter would then allegedly be "abducted, forcefully converted and married in just one day”, Lal, a Christian, told IPS.
Mohan and Sarita (name changed) studied together in the same school from Grade 6 onwards. They were friends initially, but fell in love and wished to be together, though underage.
Rather than waiting for adults to act, more young girls and boys are standing up and speaking out on the world’s pressing issues.
Twenty-year-old Gogontlejang Phaladi of Mahalapye, Botswana is grateful she was never sent to a so-called “hyena” like scores of girls in neighboring Malawi were.
Over 20,000 girls are married before the age of 18 every day around the world as countries continue to lack legal protections, according to a new study.
The benefits of ending child marriage are many—boosting a young girl’s morale and increasing her chances of education and work, and by that virtue, curbing high population rates in developing economies and boosting growth.
The Indonesian government is tapping children as advocates against child marriage in this Southeast Asian country where over 340,000 girls get married before they reach 18 years old every year.
After years of wrangling and debates among African leaders, the movement to end female genital mutilation (FGM) is gaining real momentum, with a new action plan signed this week by Pan African Parliament (PAP) representatives and the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) to end FGM as well as underage marriage.
Four years ago, Farzana Aktar Ruma, now 18, was almost married off without her consent.
The long-awaited African Girls’ Summit on Ending Child Marriage is here.
Mae Baez sees some of the darkest sides of communications technology.
Next week marks 25 years since the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a historic commitment to children and the most widely accepted human rights treaty in history.
"The smell of faeces and urine isolates them completely. Their husbands abandon them and they become stigmatised forever” – Dr Pashtoon Kohistani barely needs two lines to sum up the drama of those women affected by obstetric fistula.
Heightening their campaign to eradicate violence against women and girls, United Nations agencies and civil groups have called for increased action to end child marriage and female genital mutilation.
As Tuesday’s major summits here and in London focused global attention on adolescent girls, the United Nations offered new data warning that more than 130 million girls and women have experienced some form of female genital mutilation, while more than 700 million women alive today were forced into marriage as children.
Just 17 years old, Clarisse is already a mother of two, who lives with her husband and his four other wives in rural southern Chad. Three years earlier, she had watched her mom and sisters preparing food for a party one day. At first she celebrated along with everyone else, not realising it was her own wedding ceremony. When she discovered this, she was frantic.
Amidst intensifying concern over the fate of more than 200 girls abducted by a radical Islamist group in northern Nigeria, at least 100 representatives of various activist groups Tuesday pressed the U.S. Senate to approve legislation designed to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls and discourage child marriages around the world.
While U.S. and Iranian negotiators prepare for another round of nuclear talks in Geneva next month, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has been silent about another matter that could be even more indicative of his willingness to take on hardline conservatives.
Each summer, wealthy male tourists from Gulf Arab states flock to Egypt to escape the oppressive heat of the Arabian Peninsula, taking residence at upscale hotels and rented flats in Cairo and Alexandria. Many come with their families and housekeeping staff, spending their days by the pool, shopping, and frequenting cafes and nightclubs. Others come for a more sinister purpose.