Family members arrested for planning child marriage for 15-year-old girl in ethiopia

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Earlier this year, Haderu Gebray, 15, and her parents were arrested for planning your wedding. Child marriage is illegal in Ethiopia however, his father, who works in government, planned to marry her to an old man who had never known.

Their plight hit the headlines of media instantly. Everything needed to create a great public outcry on behalf of her was a post on Facebook of a young man in your area.

However, the whole experience has left Haderu shaken.

What made his intention ironic marriage is that she lives in an area where there is a strong movement against child marriage, with a high level of awareness that it is a bad practice, and legal consequences.

Fast action and arrests
Haderu had never laid eyes on her future husband. “They made all arrangements between my parents and my future husband,” she says.

The wedding preparations were in full swing when the police found out about it. They arrested the parents of Haderu, her future husband and his parents. Haderu was not spared. She was placed in jail for reasons of protection ” as next she says, and her parents was released on bail shortly thereafter. They agreed to cancel the wedding.

“At that time I was not happy that the marriage was [canceled] that much effort and expense was [spent] by my parents in organizing the wedding,” she says. He had resigned himself to his fate and planned to continue their education while married. However, in cases of child marriage to the girl usually withdraws from school and do not complete their education.

global program to end child marriage
World Joint Program UNFPA and UNICEF to accelerate action to end child marriage is being implemented in Kolla Tembein District and other districts. In Kolla Tembein, as child marriage it is a custom deeply rooted affecting government employees even as the father of Haderu, despite the objective of the government to end the practice.

Parents and frequency Haderu worry that their daughters may have sexual relations before marriage and ‘smear’ the honor of his family for the loss of her virginity before marriage. Minors as Haderu pay the price for it.

In Ethiopia, the minimum age for marriage is 18 years. However, the average age of first marriage is 17.1 years, according to the Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (2016). The government has embarked on a campaign to eliminate child marriage, among other harmful practices, 2025.

Child marriage falling
The Joint Global Program is being implemented in three districts of the region of Tigray, where child marriage, including Kola widely practiced Tembein District. This practice leaves girls vulnerable to abuse and health problems, including life-threatening complications of pregnancy.

Thanks to the commitment of the Board of Tigray and efforts with the support of the World Program, child marriage is in decline. You community structures at the grassroots level, including religious organizations and civil society bear the lion part of the credit.

When couples seeking to marry in the church Guya Mariam, Priest Gebreegziabher Tiku asked to submit documents proving they are not minors. Also he preaches to his flock about the consequences of child marriage and other harmful practices.

“We’re seeing very good results in regards to guard child marriage,” he says.

The Group of Women Development carried out mapping exercises of the community, which intensified in the months before the wedding popular stations. Members keep track of all the girls in the community, their marital status and whether or not they are still in school. Report this information to the Office of Women’s Affairs of the District.

“This has helped us to prevent the marriage of underage girls,” says Leteselas Berhe, head of a Group of Women Development in the town Guya of the Tembein Kola District. “We have been cases of offenders to the attention of the security forces, one of which was the case of Haderu.”

Some families spend their decision when they realize that the Group of Women Development is hot on their trails. But cases like Haderu are usually handled by a committee annulment of marriage established locally, and the authors are subject to the justice system.

“We have made good progress in the fight against harmful practices, and promoting institutional delivery (in a health center) and a savings culture among women,” adds Leteselas. Because girls dropping out of school are more likely to be married soon, and because many younger wives of age are forced to leave school, development groups Women also work closely with schools local.

challenge of ending child marriage
The prevalence of child marriage in Ethiopia is 58 percent for the age group 25-49 years, according to the Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (2016). In pursuit of its ambitious vision of eliminating child marriage by 2025, the government is implementing a combination of interventions at different levels. This enables partners base and several structures, including women’s groups development, women’s associations, civil society organizations (CSOs), faith-based organizations and community leaders.

A multisectoral government structure, the Steering Committee in combating harmful practices, has been established at the village level and regional efforts to strengthen the community in the fight against child marriage. The committee consists of 13 different sectors including health, education and security forces, according to Alemat Amare, Deputy Director of the Office of Women’s Affairs, Tigray.

Community mapping has been carried out in the districts of intervention to keep track of girls are married and those not yet married, and you’re in school and those who are not, says Alemat .

“We have achieved a lot, but we can not say we have zero incidents of child marriage,” she says. Much remains to be done, especially as a number of districts in the region, including Kola Tembein, continue to struggle with deeply entrenched practice.

This single course, a large number of girls reported to have dropped out of school in the region, especially for economic reasons, however, the contribution of harmful practices such as child marriage can not be ruled out.

To educate communities about the risks associated with exposing their daughters to early marriage, clubs gender have been established in schools in the region to provide education as equals in sexual and reproductive health (SRH) , harmful practices and other related problems. SRH services are provided free at health institutions, and critical messages are transmitted using media mini media (sound systems created to convey educational messages to students through an approach edutainment in schools) .

While Haderu was happy with their personal situation being publicized social media, it is believed that it was a good strategy so that others can learn. Currently in sixth grade, she is happy to be in school and wants to continue her education until she decides to marry.

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1 Comment

  1. April 26, 2020

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