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Youths and Adolescents Engagement on Child Marriage

UNICEF data indicates that Nepal has the third highest rate of child marriage in Asia, after Bangladesh and India Thirty-seven percent of girls in Nepal marry before age 18 and 10 percent are married by age 15, in spite of the fact that the minimum age of marriage under Nepali law is 20 years of age . Boys also often marry young in Nepal, though in lower numbers than girls . Nepal is one of the top 10 countries worldwide that has a prevalence of child marriage among boys as well . In Nepal , one in 1 O men aged between 20 and 24 were married as children . Child marriage threatens girls’ lives and health, and it limits their future prospects.

Girls pressed into early marriage often become pregnant while still adolescents, increasing the risk of complications in pregnancy or childbirth. These complications are the leading cause of death among older adolescent girls . Similarly, the legal age of marriage in Nepal is 20 years . Despite that , 48 . 5% of women aged 20-49 years were married by the age of 18 and 15.5% aged 15-49 were married by the age of 15, according to the Nepal Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey 2014 (NMICS, 2014) . Childbearing also begins early, especially in rural areas area of the Terai (Dhanusha district of Province No 2 of Nepal) . 17% of women in Nepal give birth before the age of 18 and nearly half before they are 20 years <>Cd, according to the Nepal
demographic and health survey 201 I (NDHS 20/6).

As a consequence, education status of girts’ in the Terai became very poor. Most of the girls from poor and marginalized communities drop out from school without completing their primary or basic education due to early marriage. Additionally, the health condition of girts worsen due to excessive workload at home as they were engaged by their parents. Girls become pregnant early and this also leads to high maternal and child mortality rate. Similarly, girls’ face domestic violence at home because most of child marriages in the Terai are arranged, by forced by family members. In 2016, Human Rights Watch found that girls in some areas were being married off as young as 18 months of age.

The reason behind it is family members believing that they will go to heaven if they marry off girls before menstruation. Shame surrounding pre-marital sex, and a lack of access to information about sexuality and contraception, encourages some girls to marry early. Finally, most of them suffer from sexually transmitted infection. A study found that one in three married girls in, Nepal has been subjected to sexual violence by their husbands. Although there is no information on the extent to which this drives child marriage, it likely affects a girl’s power within a marriage and her ability to escape. There aren’t adequate and concrete plans for targeting them at provincial and local level by concerned institutions and authorities. The reason for children, especially girls to be out of school, their voices not being heard and I respected, inappropriate and insufficient plan for girls to mainstream them into the education system at provincial and local level by concerned institutions and authorities and the reason for parents to not send their girls to school are a major concerns these days.

Therefore, this program will contribute to the commitment of Nepal to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals. Furthermore, it will help to fulfill the requirement of 2013 Human Rights Council resolution on child, early and forced marriage, Nepal ratification on the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1990, which sets a minimum age of marriage of 18, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1991, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage. In addition, this program will contribute in the focus of the UNICEF-UNFPA Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage, a multi-donor, multi-stakeholder programme working across 12
countries over four years including Nepal. Furthermore, it will contribute to the commitment of Nepal for ensuring access to legal remedies for child brides and establish a uniform minimum legal age of marriage of 18, ending child marriage by 2020 as a member of the South Asian Initiative to End Violence against Children (SAIEVAC) which adopted a regional action plan to end child marriage from 2015-2018 and representatives of the South Asia Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), including Nepal, asserted the Kathmandu Call to Action to End Child Marriage in Asia in 2014. The program will also contribute to the commitment of the Provincial government of Province No 2 for the child protection through “BETI BACHAU, BETI, PADHAU: Save the Daughter, Educate the Daughter· campaign. The prime focus of this campaign is to insure every newly born girls to be a milestone in stopping child marriage and dowry system that are prevalent in Madhesh.

According to the Nepal Housing and Census survey 2011, 40 % of the populations are of 16-40 years age group. Youths and adolescents around province 2 can be empowered to engage with and speak out on issues that mater to them. According to Media Landscape Survey 2019, 90% of the households in Nepal has at least one mobile sets. The mobile holding is higher in province 2 compared to other provinces. The programme proposed to use u-Report mobile reporting by connecting young people to discuss and share the matters with friends and stakeholders. LI-Report is a social messaging tool and data collection system to improve citizen engagement, inform leaders, and foster positive change. U-report platforms, sends SMS polls and alerts to its participants, collecting real-time responses, and subsequently publishes gathered data. Issues polled will include health, education, water, sanitation and, hygiene, youth unemployment, disease outbreaks, child marriage, child grant, employment and others. The proposed innovative communication technologies will promote an open and, collaborative relationship with its citizens. The proposed interactive web and mobile tools are expected to promote stronger dialogue on nearly every aspect of civic. life, and enabling powerful two-way communication between public and the leadership and constituents.

Simulation on Flood

LIFE Nepal with the technical and financial assistance of UNICEF organized a simulation on flood in Sahidnagar Municipality of Dhanusha.

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