Jag skulle vilja uppmärksamma studien Marrying too young End Child Marriage gjord av UNFPA, som handlar om de miljontals flickor världen över som blir bortgifta innan de hunnit fylla 18 år. Det är fattiga flickor utan utbildning och som bor på landsbyggden som löper störst risk att hamna i arrangerade äktenskap. Länderna där jämförelsevis flest flickor gifts bort är bland andra Niger, Chad, Bangladesh, Guinea och Mali. Dock förekommer det i stora delar av Asien, Afrika och Sydamerika.
"Yet, for millions of girls, marriage is anything but safe and anything but consistent with their best interests. Child marriage violates girls’ rights and it does so in a number of ways. It effectively brings a girl’s childhood and adolescence to a premature and unnatural end by imposing adult roles and responsibilities before she is physically, psychologically and emotionally prepared. It is not uncommon for marriage to impose social isolation on girls bringing unwanted separation from their friends and family. Often child marriage brings an end to a girl’s chance of continued education. Girls may be removed from school for many reasons: recent research suggests that dropping out of school is less likely to be a direct consequence of child marriage than of poverty, the low status afforded to women, and social norms that lead parents to discount the value of investing in girls and their education. But under these conditions, when girls drop out of school, they become even more vulnerable to child marriage.
Once married, girls are likely to feel, and in many cases are, powerless to refuse sex. They are likely to find it difficult to insist on condom use by their husbands, who commonly are older and more sexually experienced, making the girls especially vulnerable to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. At its worst, child marriage can be tantamount to bonded labour or enslavement. It can be a sentence to regular exposure to domestic or sexual violence, and a pathway to commercial exploitation.
Married girls are often under pressure to become pregnant immediately or soon after marriage, although they are still children themselves and know little about sex or reproduction. A pregnancy too early in life before a girl’s body is fully mature is a major risk to both mother and baby. Complications of pregnancy and childbirth are the main causes of death among adolescent girls ages 15-19 years old in developing countries. Among the disabilities associated with early childbirth is obstetric fistula, an injury which leaves girls in constant pain, vulnerable to infection, incontinent, and often shunned by their husbands, families and communities."
Detta är ett brott mot flickors mänskliga rättigheter och måste få ett slut.