Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Katy Migiro, Thomson Reuters Foundation

7/20/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Disregard for human life, particularly those of females, remains shocking issue

 In Ethiopia, girls are abducted on their way to school, raped and then married to their captors. In Ghana, they are married to traditional priests and become "slaves to the gods" to pay for their family's sins. In Cameroon, girls are promised in marriage to settle debts while still in the womb. "There are different forms of child marriage but all these different forms have one common point, which is the girl doesn't have a voice," Francoise Kpeglo Moudouthe, Africa officer for the advocacy group Girls Not Brides, told Thomson Reuters Foundation.

Girls Not Brides is campaigning for ending child marriage to be made one of the Sustainable Development Goals being drawn up to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which expire in 2015.

Girls Not Brides is campaigning for ending child marriage to be made one of the Sustainable Development Goals being drawn up to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which expire in 2015.

Highlights

By Katy Migiro, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/20/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Girls, young women, abduction, rape, slavery, developing nations


NAIROBI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - "Her status in the community is so low that she doesn't even have a right to speak about this issue: if she wants to marry, when she wants to marry and who she wants to marry."

GIRLS AS COMMODITIES

On July 22, the Girl Summit in London will bring together governments, charities, activists and business to declare their intention to end child marriage in one generation.

Let's pray that many people will have a change of heart to do what's right --

Fifteen of the 20 countries with the highest rates of child marriage are in Africa, and 39 percent of the continent's girls are married before the age of 18.

Niger has the highest rate, with 75 percent of girls married before they are 18.

Moudouthe believes that the summit's ambitious goal of ending child marriage in a generation can be achieved.

"The most important thing is to change the way that girls are viewed. For me, that really is the underlying problem," she said. "Girls are not commodities. We cannot sell them into marriage. We cannot decide what to do with their bodies."

Child marriage is a tradition that is practised to preserve a girl's chastity, to strengthen ties between families and to cope, as a response to poverty. In many African countries, parents receive a bride price from the groom's family when their daughter marries, and are relieved of the burden of providing for her.

Engagement with the 70 million child brides around the world is critical to breaking the cycle.

"It's an inter-generational issue," Moudouthe said. "Girls who are forced into marriage, and are not made aware of the unfairness of the situation, are likely to have daughters who also become child brides."

In Ethiopia, Moudouthe met a 13-year-old girl breastfeeding her second baby. She had been married at the age of six or seven.

The teenage mother was attending a discussion club for child brides called Meserete Hiwot, meaning "base of life" in Amharic. The majority of mothers who attend have not completed primary school and benefit from learning about assertiveness, hygiene, financial literacy and reproductive health.

"It is so important because girls are confined in marriage. They are usually not allowed out of the house," said Moudouthe. "Not only do they learn about their rights but also how to handle the day to day challenges. How do you know when your child is sick and what can you do about it?"

STRATEGIES

Other strategies that experts say can help to end child marriage are supporting girls to remain in school, enforcing laws banning child marriage, teaching girls skills so that they can earn money for their families and educating communities about the negative impacts of the practice.

Girls Not Brides is campaigning for ending child marriage to be made one of the Sustainable Development Goals being drawn up to succeed the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which expire in 2015.

"When you look at the obstacles [to achieving the MDGs], child marriage is a common one in that it affects six of the eight MDGs," Moudouthe said.

The world cannot achieve universal primary education if girls drop out of school to get married. Nor can extreme poverty be eradicated when child marriage perpetuates poverty.

The third goal, gender equality, is directly challenged by child marriage.

Similarly, it is hard to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health when young girls get pregnant and give birth before their bodies are mature.

"The children of girls who had them below the age of 15 are 60 percent more likely to die within their first year," Moudouthe said. "And girls who are pregnant before the age of 15 are five times more likely to die or be injured during their pregnancy or childbirth [than older women]."

The sixth goal linked to child marriage is combating HIV/AIDS, which affects child brides more than unmarried sexually active teenagers.

"They are married to men who are very often much older and who have sexual experience already, and with whom they have very little capacity to negotiate for safe sexual practices," Moudouthe said.

---


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


Copyright 2016 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2016
Universal:
Human Solidarity: That the aged, marginalized, and those who have no one may find-even within the huge cities of the world-opportunities for encounter and solidarity.
Evangelization: Seminarians and Novices: That seminarians and men and women entering religious life may have mentors who live the joy of the Gospel and prepare them wisely for their mission.



Comments


More U.S.

Catholic priest under investigation for child porn Watch

Image of Priest found with images of child pornography (Felix Broussard/Louisiana State Police).

By (CNA/EWTN News)

Father Felix David Broussard, a priest of the Diocese of Lafayette, La., was arrested yesterday for allegedly possessing more than 500 images of child pornography, according to local police. Lafayette, LA (CNA/EWTN News) - In a statement, the Diocese reported that ... continue reading


A world without nuclear weapons Watch

Image of

By Tony Magliano

At any moment, you could be within 30 minutes of being incinerated from nuclear weapons! You are in harm's way if you live in or near a large U.S. city or major military installation. And considering that radiation fallout from a nuclear attack would hurt virtually ... continue reading


Pokemon Go player with CCW halts attempted robbery Watch

Image of A Pokemon Go player has halted a robbery.

By David Drudge (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A Pokemon Go player with a concealed weapons permit stopped a robbery in Las Vegas. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Good for one Pokemon Go player who stopped a robbery thanks to the Second Amendment, which allows Americans to protect themselves. A group of six ... continue reading


'I was thinking as long as I have my hands up ... they're not going to shoot me.' Police fire shots at unarmed black therapist as he lies on the ground asking not to be shot Watch

Image of Officer shoots unarmed black man then cuffed him (WSVN).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Behavioral therapist Charles Kinsey was attempting to calm his autistic patient, who had run away from a group home, when officers arrived on the scene and shot him. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to WSVN, officers in North Miami responded to a report of ... continue reading


DEADLY heatwave settles over U.S., here's what you need to know to stay safe Watch

Image of Most of the U.S. under alert.

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

The worst heatwave in years is here and it will scorch the entire country from Central California to the Great Lakes, to New England. The heat will be dangerous and persistent. LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - Ask people what the most deadly weather phenomenon is ... continue reading


Texas female teacher slammed to ground - White officer claims blacks have 'violent tendencies' Watch

Image of Breaion King was slammed to the ground for not moving her legs.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

A disturbing video was recently released over a year after a white Texas officer slams a black second-grade teacher to the pavement. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The video was recorded on the officer Brian Richtor's dash cam. He pulled second-grade teacher ... continue reading


'Here the church is their family and they know they are loved': The Church reaches out to Hispanics Watch

Image of Over half of Catholic millennials in the United States are Hispanic.

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Louisiana's Diocese of Shreveport has hired its first diocesan for Hispanic youths. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Hispanics compose over half the United States' Catholics yet several states offer little to no Spanish-language or Latino-centered church groups.The ... continue reading


Deacon Fournier on the Parable of the Sower, the Seed and the Soil Watch

Image of The meaning of the agrarian parables that Jesus used has become increasingly clear as I watch those fields become green every Spring. Of course, preceding all of this, there were barren looking fields, seemingly lifeless, that is before the seed was sown. Preparing the ground for the seed involves hard work, cooperative weather and the goodness of the God who created this beautiful and fruitful world.

By Deacon Keith Fournier

The Living Word has been sown within us. We must assist in cultivating the ground of our hearts in order to be more fully transformed by grace and reflect the Image and Likeness of God. We are called to grow in holiness and allow the Risen Life of Jesus Christ to ... continue reading


305k believers gather in Washington DC to pray Jesus 'resets the generation' Watch

Image of Tim Tebow makes appearance and speech (YouTube).

By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)

Hundreds of thousands of Christians met at the National Mall in Washington D.C. this weekend to join together in an event aimed at resetting the generation. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to its website, Together Reset believes there is power in ... continue reading


Who Are the Mother and Brothers of Jesus? We Are! Watch

Image of Through our Baptism, we are all invited into the very family of God. We are the mother and brother and sister of Jesus

By Deacon Keith Fournier

Through our Baptism, we are all invited into the very family of God. When we choose to be obedient to the will and the Word of God; we enter into an eternal relationship with God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We actually become a part of the "family" of God; ... continue reading


All U.S. 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, Jeremiah 26:11-16, 24
11 The priests and prophets then said to the chief men and all the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 69:15-16, 30-31, 33-34
15 Let not the waves wash over me, nor the deep swallow me up, nor the ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 14:1-12
1 At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the reputation of ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 30th, 2016 Image

St. Peter Chrysologus
July 30: St. Peter Chrysologus, Bishop and Doctor of the ... Read More