Child Marriage: Laws Against Must Be Enforced
Millions of girls across the world end up as child brides, despite the practice being outlawed in many countries. But some girls are defying their families' attempts to marry them off.
Some 10 million girls a year are married off before the age of 18 across the world, according to a Unicef report released this year.
Just last month South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu, at the launch of the Girls Not Brides global initiative described child marriage as a "practice that robs millions of girls of their childhood, their rights and their dignity".
Australia: Court Action Against Forced Marriage of Girl
An Australian court has placed a 16-year-old girl on the airport watch list to prevent an arranged marriage taking place in Lebanon.
The girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, applied to the Federal Magistrates Court for an order to restrain her parents from taking her out of Australia to marry a man she had met only once.
The girl, given the pseudonym Ms Madley by the court, approached the Legal Aid Commission after her parents organised the wedding despite her telling them that she did not want to go to Lebanon and did not want to marry the man.
Indonesia: FGM/C Regulations Mistaken As Endorsement, Experts Fear
WEST JAVA, 1 September 2011 (IRIN) - Guidelines on how to perform female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) issued by the Indonesian Ministry of Health could cause an increase in the practice, medical experts and rights groups fear.
"This will give doctors a new motivation to circumcise [girls] because now they can say the Ministry of Health approves of this, and the Indonesian Ulamas' Council approves of it," Jurnalis Uddin, doctor and lecturer at Yarsi University [ ] in Jakarta, told IRIN.
Though FGM/C was banned in 2006, two of Indonesia's Muslim organizations, including the largest and mostly moderate Nahdlatul Ulama, ultimately condone the practice advising "not to cut too much", and, as a result, many continue to perform the procedure. [http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?reportid=90366]
Solutions to End Child Marriage: What Evidence Shows
Child marriage is increasingly recognized as a serious problem, both as a violation of girls' human rights and as a hindrance to key development outcomes. As more resources and action are committed to addressing this problem, it becomes important to examine past efforts and how well they have worked. ICRW summarizes a systematic review of child marriage prevention programs that have documented evaluations. Based on this synthesis of evaluated programs, the authors offer an analysis of the broader implications for viable solutions to child marriage.
Pakistan: “Reclaiming Space: from victimhood to agency: State and civil society response to VAW”
Islamabad—Speakers at a conference here on Thursday urged for collective struggle and structural reforms to challenge Violence Against Women (VAW) in South Asian countries particularly. The three-day South Asian conference on “Reclaiming Space: from victimhood to agency: State and civil society response to VAW” organized by Rozan in Islamabad was widely attended by women activists from all over Pakistan who were joined by delegates from India, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Child Marriage Factsheet
What do we mean by Child Marriage?
Child marriage, defined as marriage before age 18, is a violation of human rights, compromising the development of girls and often resulting in early pregnancy and social isolation, with little education and poor vocational training reinforcing the gendered nature of poverty. Most child marriages are also forced marriages, where the consent of the child is not considered before the consummation of the union. While boys are affected by child marriage, the issue impacts girls in far larger numbers and with more intensity.1
India: UNICEF report uncovers high prevalence of child marriage in West Bengal
Every second girl in the high prevalence child marriage districts of West Bengal were married off before they reach 18, the legal age for girls to get wedded, a UNICEF report said.
Murshidabad (61.04%), Birbhum (58.03%), Malda (56.07%) and Purulia (54.03%) are the districts having such dubious distinction, the report said quoting latest figures.
Though only these four districts have reported over 50 per cent child marriage cases, they are enough to pull the state figure of child marriage to a staggering 53.9 per cent.
UN HRC: Witches in the 21st Century
Throughout history, people described as witches have been persecuted, tortured and murdered and the practice continues today. Statistics are not easy to come by but it is known that every year, thousands of people, mostly older women and children are accused as witches, often abused, cast out of their families and communities and in many cases murdered.
The Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston, in his most recent report to the Human Rights Council, says: “In too many settings, being classified as a witch is tantamount to receiving a death sentence.”
Nepal: Religious Practices, Discrimination & Gender Violence
KATHMANDU, Jul 28, 2011 (IPS) - The recent gang-rape of a Buddhist nun and her expulsion from her sect have sparked a debate about the deep-rooted religious traditions and biases that foster discrimination and violence, especially against women, in this South Asian state.
The public outcry against the nun’s expulsion forced the Nepal Buddhist Federation to reconsider, saying now that once she recovers, the victim can return to her nunnery.
But it is only a minor triumph. While public debate on a discriminatory socio-religious practice led to its retraction, thousands of women continue to be victims of other religious rituals in Nepal.
Jordan: Child Bride in Jordan Puts Daughters on Same Path
What kind of mothers subject their daughters to drudgery, deny them education and threaten them with early marriage and other human rights abuses? The answer, one family's story suggests, are women who've gone through just that themselves.
AMMAN, Jordan (WOMENSENEWS)--Fawzeya, a 70-year-old Palestinian-Jordanian woman living in a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan, raised her two daughters--now 53 and 47--with an iron hand.