Another of the problems that we are facing during our Rato Baltin workshops is seeing 13 years girls who are married and with children. Everybody (some may not agree) find this practice “normal” in west Nepal (actually in all rural area of Nepal). In Nepal the legal age for marriage without parental consent is 20 years and with parental consent it’s 18.
Child marriage is another consequence of the poor sexual education, and is another subject we try to explain and teach in out workshops.
Child marriage means disempowerment for life
Doctors say it is biologically possible for a girl to become pregnant as soon as she begins ovulating. By and large, medical experts agree that carrying and delivering a baby at age 15 or younger can come with life-threatening complications, including anaemia, high blood pressure and haemorrhaging.
Also noted, pelvic bones do not fully develop until girls reach their teens. Before that point vaginal births and full-term pregnancies are dangerous, and even Caesarean sections present significant risks, they say. Such problems, along with complications from unsafe abortions, were the top cause of death among female adolescents in 2015, according to the World Health Organisation.
As well, in our workshops, we explain how to use a condom, or how to use the Cervical Mucus Method to control the fertility window every month, although, we emphasize, in such young ages, it is not reliable.
We believe that, it is really important, that both boys and girls, learn how to use a condom. This is reinforced by statistics in some places such as Achcham, that have a very high rate of HIV infected people. Both boys and girls, have easy access to condoms, in west Nepal, as they are freely given at every health post.
Write by Clara Go corrected by Phumzile Mpofu