The United Nations announced a new initiative today to advance efforts to end child marriage by 2030 and protect the rights of millions of the most vulnerable girls around the world.
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In India, 47 percent of women age 20-24 married before they were 18. In rural, tribal regions of Udaipur district, the rate of child marriage is 56 per cent. Few of the area's girls are enrolled in school, and most are expected to work on their homes and land from dawn to dusk - like their mothers and grandmothers before them.
For millions of women and girls around the world, gender equality and the full enjoyment of human rights remain elusive. For instance, nearly 14 million children are forced into marriage every year; that is 37,000 girls being denied their fundamental human rights every single day!
"I was unaware of the fact that young people have the right to decide freely on matters related to their sexuality and that sexual and reproductive rights are basic human rights," said Barun Kuinkel, age 17, after attending a sexual and reproductive health outreach session led by a peer educator from Y-PEER Nepal.
On a bleak, cold day in late February, hundreds of refugees, bundled in winter coats and carrying bulging bags and baskets, stream into the Tebanovce transit centre, stationed on the border between the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Serbia.
BATOURI, Cameroon - Due to complications during the birth of her 11th child, Zandelé Colette, now 56, underwent an emergency caesarean section. However, the procedure occurred too late to save the child, who died shortly after birth, and, as a result of the prolonged labor, Zandelé developed obstetric fistula.
The Bondage of Culture, a nine-minute film on female genital mutilation (FGM) by Kenyan journalist Diana Kendi, was selected as the winner of the first annual Efua Dorkenoo Pan Africa Award for Reportage on FGM.
SHABWAH, Yemen - The nearly year-old conflict in Yemen has now embroiled 21 of the country's 22 governorates, civilian casualties are increasingly common, food is in short supply and many hospitals, police stations and other institutions essential for protecting and caring for the population, especially women and girls, have been forced to shut their doors.
It was after midnight and Bibi Gul* was in critical condition when her husband and eldest daughter brought her to a hospital in Balkh, a province in northern Afghanistan. When the nurses examined her, they discovered that her body was covered in deep purple bruises, and that naswar, a powdered tobacco snuff, had been forced into her vagina.
Standing several inches shy of her middle-aged groom’s shoulder, the 12-year-old bride, outfitted in a child-size white wedding gown and veil, stiffly clutches a small bouquet, as a photographer snaps the newlyweds' photo and the sun begins to set over a picturesque waterfront walkway in Beirut.