Empowerment Clinic on Girls Sexuality and Ending Teenage Marriage

Child Marriage is the formal or informal marriage of a girl or boy before the age of 20. This certain age of marriage have instituted by Muluki Aparadh Samhita 2075, Child Right law 2075, and CRC 1989. If any of the individual found involveed in child marriage, will be charge under current law. Child marriage affects both girls and boys, but it affects girls disproportionately, especially in South Asian context.

Although, there are various reasons for child marriage, like different assumptions of people from different communities, religions and geography, but child marriage occurs more frequently in families who are the least educated, poorest and living in rural areas. The causes of child marriages are highly interrelated with vicious cycles and the predominant ones are gender discrimination, poverty, dowry, lack of life skills in young people and discriminatory social norms and values. Many of the child and early marriage we hear about are arranged and, often, forced by girls’ parents, or other family members. However, nowadays it is also found that in the name of love relationship at an early age has become one of the major cause for child early marriage. Most of the cases are found when the affair is not accepted by any or both of the families which leads to the elopement marriage. It is often seen that girls are regarded as a ‘burden’ to be unloaded as early as possible through marriage and the practice of marrying off the girl at an early age reduces the value of dowry. In southern part of the Rupandehi district, girls are married by their families at ages as young as one and half years old. And, also in northern part of district there is love marriage and early marriage. Even though, we have rich law regarding child marriage, the practice still exists. The reason for these kind of illegal activities are, ignorance of law by general individuals, lack of life skill, lack of knowledge on sexuality and legal provision and our political representative with stereotypical thought and poor commitment on implementation of current law.

There is huge negative impact of child and early marriage in the girl’s life as well as the next generation children. There are complex associations between early marriage and women’s education, health and nutrition that go beyond the impacts of early childbearing. Child brides remain at greater risk of experiencing a range of poor health outcomes (risk for sexually transmitted diseases, cervical cancer and death during early childbirth), having children at younger ages, having more children over their lifetime (because of limited or no capacity to negotiate sexual relations, contraception, and other reproductive decisions with limited bodily control) , dropping out of school and discontinuing education, earning less over their lifetimes and living in poverty than their peers who marry at later ages. All of the health implications along with higher risk of domestic and sexual violence and poor mental health may also affect the next generation of children.

Glance on our steps…….

  • By measuring the cause, risk and negative impact in almost every aspects of individuals and the nation itself by child marriage, we have been working with young girls and boys in developing life skills of young people through Empowerment Clinic. This particular program is funded by GFF(Girls First Fund) since 1st Jun 2019 to eradicate child and early marriage and encourage Childern and their parents to understand the value of education. 
  • We have been doing training and awareness raising program with young and adolescent girls (age 11 to 24) . The program is aimed to develop life skill and negotiation capacity to stop child marriage and early marriage at grassroots level.
  • Young members of Empowerment Clinic have been involving actively in advocacy campaign with adolescents and their parents through street drama, mobile workshops, door to door awareness programs, games, empowering dialogue with big masses.
  • 400 hundred girls and 1600 hundred community people have been engaging in Empowerment Clinic against child marriage
  • Running the campaigns against Gander based violence and Sexual abuse, through ‘We won’t stop’ program lead by young girls as loose forum.
  • Conducting Parents Education on legal awareness and rights of young and adolescent girls.
  • Organizing interactive workshops, joint meetings, advocacy campaign with local governments, stakeholders and Change Makers on Policy Development to help and make sure these authorities stands for Policy Development against Child Marriage, Dowry Custom, Property Right and Sex Education in local government.