Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/22/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Attitudes must change: Girls and young women must be repected as persons not property

It's a national shame for Southeast Asia's economic powerhouse: One in all three forced child marriages in the world is in India. It's a regional shame as well, as a new UNICEF study has proved almost half of all child marriages are in South Asia.

In rural Indian villages, there are very real concerns about the safety of girls. If a girl is married off early, the strained logic is that her husband can protect her. She is treated as property.

In rural Indian villages, there are very real concerns about the safety of girls. If a girl is married off early, the strained logic is that her husband can protect her. She is treated as property.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/22/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: India, South Asia, child brides, economic development


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - South Asia accounts for 42 percent of the child marriage cases worldwide, according to a new UNICEF report released this week.

It's estimated that 700 million girls across the globe have been married off before reaching age 18. More than one third were wed before the age of 15, according to the report.

Live Catholic, Shop Catholic -- go here:


Entitled "Child Marriage: Progress and Prospects," more underage girls are married off than boys. The practice is most common in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

The report found that Bangladesh has the highest rate of marriage involving girls under age 15. The report also discovered that girls from impoverished families and rural areas are 2.5 times more likely to marry in childhood than those living in the wealthiest sector.

"Child marriage should be seen as a social evil embedded in some cultures, and coupled with a lack of education and social approval, it becomes very hard to fight it in the villages of India," Johny Mathew, a member of the Juvenile Justice Board of India's Karnataka state says.

At the root of the problem is a complete disrespect for the dignity of human persons and a special disrespect for girls and women. Dora Giusti, a UNICEF official researching child marriage in India, opined that the issue has "a lot do with understanding of culture, gender roles and education." Giusti adds that in traditional Indian society, girls are seen only as future mothers and wives.

In rural Indian villages, there are very real concerns about the safety of girls. If a girl is married off early, the logic is that her husband can protect her. This also blocks the possibility of a girl bringing dishonor to her family by selecting her own undesirable partner, Giusti explains. Both realities reveal a culture which has failed to recognize the dignity of every human life and the fundamental right to freedom in choosing a marriage partner.

India passed a law in 2006 banning child marriages but "implementation of it is too weak" because of social pressure, said Giusti. Child marriages are rarely reported to local authorities because of society's acceptance of the practice and because few people see it as breaking of a law.

The Indian government says it has taken significant steps to end child marriage. "One of the notable initiatives taken by India towards protection of children including the girl child has been the establishment of a National Commission for Protection of Child Rights in 2007 for proper enforcement of children's rights," a Ministry of Women and Child Development official, speaking on the condition of anonymity said.

A national strategy on child marriage prevention focusing on law enforcement, access to quality education and other opportunities for empowerment of adolescents was established in 2012, he added. Yet other politicians agree that laws and policies alone are not enough.

"The problem is related to poverty," Samajwadi Party parliamentarian, Dharmendra Yadav says. Poverty leads to a lack of education, and poor uneducated families simply want to avoid huge dowries by giving away their daughters in marriage at an early age, he said.

Some have suggested that it would be beneficial to establish "economic activities for girls so that they can stay away from early marriage."

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copyright 2015 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for February 2016
Universal:
That prisoners, especially the young, may be able to rebuild lives of dignity.
Evangelization: That married people who are separated may find welcome and support in the Christian community.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

HOLY SMOKES: Smoke from massive garbage dump fire in Mumbai seen in outer space Watch

Image of Toxic plumes of smoke sailing high into the heavens could be seen away from outer space after a massive trash heap caught in fire in Mumbai.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Toxic plumes of smoke sailing high into the heavens could be seen away from outer space after a massive trash heap caught in fire in Mumbai. The Deonar trash dump, Mumbai's largest landfill site, burned out of control in late January and went untended for four ... continue reading


Woman has ACID thrown on her face by husband over dowry argument Watch

Image of Officials say that the majority of acid attack victims survive their attacks - but the trauma haunts them for the rest of their lives (Zakir Hossain Chowdhury and Barcroft Media).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

It's a horrific tragedy that points to greater national shame ... 23-year-old Jesmin Akter suffered burns to both her face and body after her husband splashed her with acid after an argument over their dowry. She is currently at a hospital recovering from the attack. ... continue reading


MAN TURNING INTO TREE! Bangladeshi man suffers from rare skin disease that turns skin into bark Watch

Image of Epidermodysplasia verruciformis or EV creates wart-like lesions on the body. Photo courtesy Zuma Wire/Shutterstock/REX.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A 25-year-old Bangladeshi man, suffering from a rare and inherited skin disease has been called the "tree man." His condition leaves lesions on his hands, feet, and other extremities that resemble tree bark. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Patient Abul ... continue reading


Teenager's ISIS-inspired attack plan using explosive-stuffed Kangaroos leads to arrest Watch

Image of Nineteen-year-old Sevdet Ramadan Besim has been arrested with four other teenagers on suspicion terrorist charges. (Pixabay)

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

An Australian teenager has been arrested in connection with a fantastical plot to load a kangaroo with explosives, painted with the Islamic State flag, and set it loose on police officers on Anzac Day. Nineteen-year-old Sevdet Ramadan Besim has been arrested ... continue reading


Vowing to stop ISIS, Filipino Christian militia take up arms Watch

Image of Red God's Defenders are adamant about preventing the Philippines from becoming a new breeding ground for ISIS.

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Members of a Christian militia group in the Philippines have taken up arms and were photographed burning the black flag of Islamic State. The "Red God's Defenders," as the militia group calls itself, is located in the mountains of the southern part of the country ... continue reading


ISIS terror attacks reach Indonesia (WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTOS) Watch

Image of ISIS fanatics pulled weapons and attacked the citizens of Indonesia's capital (Xinhua/Barcroft Media).

By Monique Crawford (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

On Thursday, ISIS sympathizers armed themselves with an array of weapons and stepped forward to wreak havoc in Indonesia's capital, Jakarta. Suicide bomb blasts and shootings ensued, leaving five of the attackers - and several civilians - dead. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


Have scientists discovered a new species of humans? Watch

Image of The more we learn about human evolution and migration, the more we realize how little we know.

By Marshall Connolly, Catholic Online (THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Scientists have discovered stone tools on the island of Sulawesi, in Indonesia, which have been dated to at least 118,000-years-old. The find suggests that primitive humans inhabited the island long before the arrival of modern humans. LOS ANGELES, CA (California ... continue reading


AMAZING PHOTOS! Australian angler rides nine-foot bull shark like bucking bronco Watch

Image of Angler Stephen Pateman, believed to be from Grafton, New South Wales, is shown astride a large shark. Pateman wears a broad grin as the shark's mouth gapes open (Stephen Pateman/Facebook).

By Catholic Online (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Startling images of an Australian fisherman riding a nine-foot long bull shark like a bucking bronco have turned up online. While delightful, the pictures raise concerns as the site of the photograph is a popular recreation waterway in Clarence River, ... continue reading


Possible MH370 find leads to unexpected discovery Watch

Image of

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 flight MH370 continues as authorities announce the wreckage beneath the Indian Ocean belongs to the remains of a 200-year-old ship. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The flight went missing in 2014 with 239 ... continue reading


GRAPHIC VIDEO - Afghan lynch mob kills woman falsely accused of burning Koran

Image of Protests across Afghanistan erupted following the lynching.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Cell phone footage of an Afghan woman being killed by a lynch mob has surfaced online. In March, an Afghan woman was accused by a Muslim cleric of burning Koran. While she was almost certainly innocent of the charges, a lynch mob formed and attacked her. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 58:1-9
1 Shout for all you are worth, do not hold back, raise your voice like a ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 51:3-4, 5-6, 18-19
3 For I am well aware of my offences, my sin is constantly in ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 9:14-15
14 Then John's disciples came to him and said, 'Why is it that we and the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for February 12th, 2016 Image

St. Buonfiglio Monaldo
February 12: He was one of seven Florentines who had joined ... Read More