Condition of Child Marriage in Nepal
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A report entitled ‘Ending Child marriage – progress and prospects’ which was released by UNICEF during the ongoing first ever Girl Summit in London, highlighted that Nepal has the ninth highest prevalence of child marriage in the world with one in every three child brides living in the country.
Nearly 18% of women aged 20 to 49 years were married before age of 15 while about 34 % of women were married or in union after age 15 but before they turned 18 in Nepal, the report highlighted.
“In Nepal, over one third of women aged 20 to 24 who married before their 15th birthday had three or more children compared to one per cent of women who married as adults. Child brides are also less likely to receive proper medical care while pregnant”, said the report.
Niger, Bangladesh, Chad, Mali, Central African Republic, India, Guinea, Ethiopia, Burkina Faso and Nepal are the top 10 countries with the highest rate of child marriage respectively, the UN children’s agency said in its report.
“Girls who wed under 18 are less likely to be in school and more vulnerable to domestic violence and maternal mortality, the report said, adding South Asia is home to almost half (42 per cent) of all child brides worldwide and India alone accounts for one third of the global total”, the report said.
The Girl Summit jointly organized by UK government and UNICEF aims to tackle female genital mutilation and child marriage as UNICEF predicted there could be 280 million girls who are compelled to be brides before 18.
During the Summit, 20 governments including Nepal, endorsed charter which states “No one should be forced into marriage, or made to marry while still a child or no girls or women should have to endure the physical and psychological effects of female genital mutilation.”
The Himalayan Times, July 23, 2014 (www.thehimalayantimes.com)