News and Events

# Commitment to end Child Marriage by 2025 in Province No. One

 

A commitment from Social Development Minister, initiated by Member Organizations of Sanjal

The following article has been published in Nepali in Udghosh Newspaper, Province 1, Nepal

Demanding to declare provincial state number 1 as child marriage free, concerned stakeholders submitted the delegation paper to Mr. Jeevan Ghimire Social Development Minister of Province 1 on 20th July 2018 at Biratnagar, Morang. Sanjal, our network of active Civil Society Organizations has submitted the delegation paper to work towards the prevention of child marriage.

Altogether nine organizations working in different districts of Province 1 submitted the delegation paper, mentioning that there is need of campaigning from governmental body itself, updating child marriage in school curriculum, facility of a helpline in each ward office, to seizing all the facilities of the people involved in child marriage, and by 2025 making Province 1 a child marriage free province.

Mr. Ghimire, made a statement that the Ministry of Social Welfare needs to make a plan in order to prevent child marriage. He said that in Terai and Hilly regions of Nepal, child marriage has not stopped due to illiteracy, which allowed to manifest a cultural practice of it. He also said that child marriage is slowly decreasing and there is need of collaboration with concerned stakeholders and Province Ministries to achieve a child marriage free province with necessary actions.

The organizations involved in submitting the delegation paper are ‘Sansthagat Bikas Sanjal’ Lalitpur, ‘Community Development Forum Nepal’ Morang, ‘Hilly Rural Development Organization Nepal’ (HRDON) Morang, ‘Gramin Mahila Jagaran Samuha’ Okhaldhunga, ‘Kotagadhi Sikhar Samaj’ Okhaldhunga, ‘ ‘Group of Helping Hands’ (SAHAS), ‘LikhuDemba Community Development Forum’ Okhaldhunga, ‘Chandra Jyoti Integrated rural Development Society Dhading’ and ‘Community Development Society’ Ramechhap.  

(Video: Published on Jan 11, 2017 by Girls Not Brides)

Facts about Child Marriage in Nepal

(1) Nepal has the third highest rate of child marriage in all over Asia, right after Bangladesh and India.

(2) Nepali law defines the minimum age of marriage to 20 years, but 37% of girls in Nepal marry before age 18 and 10% are married by age 15 (Human Rights Watch 2016). Click here, to read the original law text in Nepali, Article 173 of Criminal Court Act 2074 from 16 October 2017

(3) Get more Info at: https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/child-marriage/nepal/ or https://www.hrw.org/report/2016/09/08/our-time-sing-and-play/child-marriage-nepal

Health Concerns: Adolescent pregnancy - a major contributor to maternal and child mortality

(1) Among young mothers (ages 10 to 19 years) there is a higher risk of eclampsia, puerperal endometritis, and systemic infections.

(2) Unsafe abortions contribute to maternal mortality and lasting health problems.

(3) Emotional, psychological and social needs of pregnant adolescent girls can be greater than those of other women.

 

 

(4) Babies born to mothers under 20 years of age face higher risks of low birth weight, preterm delivery, and severe neonatal conditions as well as long-term potential effects (WHO 2018).

 

 

# Capacity Building Training on Sexual and Reproductive Health

 

Sexual and Reproductive health is a crucial aspect of general health. It is a reflection of health during adolescence and adulthood. It implies that people are able to have a satisfying and safe sex life, the capability to reproduce, and the freedom to decide if, when, and how often to do so.

Enhancing Capacity of People in Rural Areas of Nepal

The three days encompassing capacity building training was conducted from 8-10th of August 2018 at Dulikhel Training Centre. It was on sexual and reproductive health and came along with a training on leadership and facilitation skills. The participants have been field staffs and EC Members of implementing Member Organizations with a total of 10 participants (i.e. 4 participants from Okhaldhunga and 6 from Achham). 

PAVE Project (Protection of Adolescence and Vulnerable Women through Empowerment) is being implemented through two Member Organizations (MOs) of Sanjal in two districts, i.e. ‘Gramin Mahila Jagaran Samuha’, Okhaldhunga and ‘Youth in Empowerment Sector-Nepal’, Achham.

Fruitful Discussions and Identification of Common Challenges

The participants were actively involved in group activities and shared their field experiences, what made the session very fruitful for the participants and trainers alike. Through the discussion, some of the common occurring problems, while carrying out the program activities, have been identified. Those are geographical conditions, ignorance, people's attitude and behavior.

In detail, the content was on Sexual & Reproductive Health was related to Adolescence & Puberty, Gender & Sex, Menstruation & Menstrual Hygiene, Sex Education, Abortion, Sexual & Reproductive health Rights, Sexual abuse & violence, Facilitation & leadership skills.

The training was facilitated by Mrs. Kalapan Gyawali, and co-facilitated by Ms. Prasanna Rai from Sansthagat Bikas Sanjal. The training was supported by Women’s World Day of prayer- German Committee.  

 

In June and July 2018, Human Rights Advocacy activists and representatives of Member Organizations (MOs) of 'Sansthagat Bikas Sanjal’ from East and West Nepal held meetings to share and discuss the current situation and achievements of their advocacy activities. In close coordination with Sanjal, 'Community Development Forum' (CDF) Morang hosted the meeting in East Nepal and 'Sahakarmi Samaj' (SS) Nepalgunj hosted the meeting in West Nepal. These member organizations are working together with Sanjal on the issues of child rights, caste land rights, chhaupadi, educational rights and social protection rights.

Achievements in regard to the prevention of Child Marriages

The MOs CDF, GMJS and SAHAS collaboratively achieved increased interest and awareness on the issue of child marriage in Letang and its surroundings, as well as in Okhaldhunga. In order to reach that level of awareness, local and municipality level stakeholders were included in their interactions. The organizations implemented workshops and conducted studies on advocacy issues. Working together, they also established hoarding boards on prevention of child marriage in Morang and Okhaldhunga. Resulting from their advocacy, a budget has been allocated from the local government to run a campaign against child marriage and local media has given priority to the issue of child marriage by addressing the issue in local newspapers.

Achievements for Minorities and Dalit Rights

CIRDS Human Rights Advocacy activists managed to do a base line data collection of landless people in Thakre and conducted a common meeting between the ward chair and landless community people. CDS established a ward-level network to raise the issue of Dalit rights. Subsequently, the Dalit community members became active participants in advocacy of their own rights.

'Jana Jagaran Samaj' (JJS) has managed to implement multiple interaction programs in order to convince Dalit families to send their children to school. Until recently, 20 households (with altogether 22 children) didn’t send their children to school. JJS can be proud, because now, 34 children (15 male and 19 female students) have started going school.

Sahakarmi Samaj (SS) can also be proud; due to their commitment it was possible to stop the government’s dumping of garbage near the Gandarba settlement. The garbage caused severe health issues in the community. Furthermore, SS improved coordination among local government, journalists, local representatives, and the Gandarba community. Moreover, they are providing scholarships for enrollment in boarding school to three children.

TVS was busy managing the water pipe line in the Chidimar Community. TVS successfully managed to help the community obtain a Lalpurja (Land Registration Certificate) from the Rural Municipality. Welfare Association Children Tikapur (WACT) was able to empower numerous people to stand for their own rights, and some of the Rural/Municipality budget has been allocated for ‘People Living with HIV’ (PLHIV).

More time and resources are needed for bigger impact

Despite their great achievements, most of the Human Rights advocacy activists and the representatives of the MOs mentioned that their impact would have been even bigger if they would have had more time and resources. Furthermore, due to undefined roles and responsibilities on the local and regional level, activities have been delayed or slowed down.