Matrimonio infantil

A tribal chief in Malawi has become an idol for hundreds of girls for her courage to break up more than 800 child marriages to send girls back to school. (Reuters)

The #MeToo movement has helped create a global spotlight on campaigns to end sexual harassment and assault, human trafficking and child marriage. These movements add to a growing emphasis on girls’ rights, highlighted by the recent trip of first lady Melania Trump to Africa — including a stop in Malawi, where she brought attention to children’s welfare.

But we find in our research that human rights campaigns can actually make child marriage worse. These efforts can backfire, causing decreased support for banning child marriage.

How we did our research

We conducted a survey experiment in Malawi in 2016 with a team of researchers at the Program on Governance and Local Development (GLD).…  Seguir leyendo »

El costo del matrimonio infantil

Los costos humanos del matrimonio infantil son bien conocidos; a lo largo y ancho de todo el mundo, las niñas-novias son, en promedio, personas que reciben menos educación formal, más pobres y más propensas a la violencia sexual en comparación con las mujeres que se casan teniendo más años de edad. Sin embargo, cuando el impacto económico del matrimonio infantil se agrega a este sombrío recuento, la factura es verdaderamente abrumadora.

Según el International Center for Research on Women y el Banco Mundial, poner fin a la práctica del matrimonio infantil ahorraría miles de millones de dólares de gastos anuales incurridos en bienestar social, lo que generaría un ahorro a nivel mundial de más de 4 millones de millones de dólares hasta el año 2030.…  Seguir leyendo »

Cuando una niña es forzada a contraer matrimonio, el daño puede perdurar por mucho tiempo después del día de su boda. Las investigaciones demuestran que las niñas que se casan antes de los 18 años reciben menos escolaridad que las que se casan más tarde, se enfrentan a riesgos más altos de abuso doméstico, y sufren efectos adversos a lo largo de toda su vida en su bienestar físico y mental.

No obstante, el matrimonio infantil sigue siendo una práctica común en el mundo en desarrollo. Según UNICEF, hay más de 700 millones de mujeres vivas hoy quienes se casaron antes de cumplir los 18 años de edad.…  Seguir leyendo »

Bangladesh is a global poster child when it comes to improving women’s status in the developing and the Muslim worlds. It also outranks all of its South Asian neighbours in terms of gender equality.

The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report has placed Bangladesh above India, Pakistan, Nepal and Sri Lanka for two consecutive years. In 2016, the country was placed 72nd among 144 countries while India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan were placed 87th, 110th, 100th and 143th respectively.

The country is ahead of India and Pakistan in terms of enrolment in primary and secondary education and has leapfrogged both in immunisation rates and child mortality reduction.…  Seguir leyendo »

When Iraqi voters go to the polls tomorrow they are likely to endorse parties that plan to legalise child marriage at nine years old. Based on Shia Islamic jurisprudence, what is called the Ja’afari personal status law was approved by the current Iraqi cabinet eight weeks ago. It describes girls as reaching puberty at nine, and therefore ready for marriage. The current legal age is 18.

This barbaric and regressive law would grant fathers sole guardianship of their female children from the age of two, as well as legalising marital rape. It has horrified Iraqi women and they publicly declared last month’s International Women’s Day an Iraqi day of mourning in response to the worrying developments.…  Seguir leyendo »

Dhaki is from the southern region of Ethiopia. At age 13, instead of going to school, Dhaki was marrried and tended cattle for her family. Her husband, 11 years older than she, regularly forced himself on her. Her nightly cries were ignored by her neighbors, and she was shunned by her community for not respecting the wishes of her husband.

Sadly, millions of girls worldwide have little or no choice about when and whom they marry. One in three girls in the developing world is married before she is 18 – one in seven before she is 15. The reasons for child marriage vary: Custom, poverty and lack of education all play a part.…  Seguir leyendo »