When you look at a child, can you imagine them getting married at the age of 9? My daughter is 9. She has a world of growing up to do before she considers marriage. I cannot imagine if that world of childhood was taken away from her.
Sadly in Nepal, this is the case. Boys, some as young as 7, are forced into marriage. These boys are expected to take on the responsibilities of a married man. Many of them need to drop out of school to care for their new family. Girls are also forced into child marriages with much older men. Nearly 25% are married before they turn 14.
Here is just one of the heartbreaking stories. Forced into marriage at the age of 9, Parashuram wet himself during his own wedding because he could not undo the ceremonial garment to get to the bathroom in time. By the time he was 12, he was pressured to father a child. He hadn’t even hit puberty yet. “I couldn’t do what was expected of me as a married man,” he said.
My son is 12. I cannot imagine him married with a child on the way. He is still just a “baby” himself in many ways. How can a country allow this to happen?
Pannilal Yadev is a former child groom. He was so young when he married, he barely recalls it. He is still angry and resentful that marriage forced him to abandon school. Now, he works with CARE to fight child marriage in Nepal.
Luckily, there is a way we can help. The Tipping Point, through CARE.org, is an initiative that addresses child marriage through a dynamic process of innovation, insight (analysis and learning), and influence through advocacy. The Tipping Point project focuses on facilitating and learning from innovative strategies to influence change-makers and root causes of child marriage in Nepal and Bangladesh, two child marriage hotspots.
A few seconds of your time, you can make a difference. Please visit the campaign page, where you can view the report and voice your support by e-signing a letter to congress. This report is a not a fundraiser. The goal is to raise awareness for CARE.org’s initiative to end child marriage. Please help and spread the word to your friends and family. These children deserve to have someone fight for their rights to enjoy their childhood years as long as possible.