UNICEF藉首個「國際女童日」倡議消除童婚 「我的生活我做主,拒絕童婚」

 

UNICEF藉首個「國際女童日」倡議消除童婚 「我的生活我做主,拒絕童婚」

國際消息 00:26

紐約/香港,2012年10月11日──聯合國兒童基金會(UNICEF)在首個「國際女童日」,與一眾合作伙伴合力推動消除童婚──一個侵犯基本人權,又影響女童各方面生活的問題。

UNICEF性別和權利問題首席顧問Anju Malhotra女士表示:「訂立『國際女童日』,顯然反映出將女童權利置於發展重心的需要。」她續指:「聯合國和合作伙伴正聚在一起,合力展現項目至今取得的驚人進展,但同時提出當前面臨的挑戰。」

(Left) Former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson speaks at the high-level discussion Ending Child Marriage, at UNHQ. Behind her (centre) is photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair, who has documented the issue of child marriage in many countries around the world. On 11 October 2012 at United Nations Headquarters (UNHQ), a high-level discussion on Ending Child Marriage was held to review progress toward eliminating child marriage. Though girls are disproportionately affected, boys are also forced into child marriages. The practice disrupts childrens education, placing them at risk of multiple deprivations and increases their susceptibility to violence and abuse. The event was led by UNICEF in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UN Women, and included an opening statement by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. It was also held in observance of the inaugural International Day of the Girl Child to be held annually on 11 October which recognizes the unique challenges faced by girls around the world (including early marriage) and the need for greater attention to achieving girls rights. Child marriage occurs in almost all geographic regions, though higher rates of the practice are found in South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. UNICEF continues to work with all partners to raise the legal age of marriage in all countries to 18 years and to address other forms of gender discrimination. In addition to the UN Secretary-General, other participants in the event included Bangladesh State Minister for Women and Child Affairs Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury; South African Nobel Laureate and Chair of The Elders Archbishop Desmond Tutu; Nigerian youth activist Salamatou Aghali Issoufa, 22; UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin; UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet; and UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Geeta Rao Gupta. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon makes an opening statement at the high-level discussion Ending Child Marriage, at UNHQ. Behind him are (left-right) UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Geeta Rao Gupta and UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin. On 11 October 2012 at United Nations Headquarters (UNHQ), a high-level discussion on Ending Child Marriage was held to review progress toward eliminating child marriage. Though girls are disproportionately affected, boys are also forced into child marriages. The practice disrupts childrens education, placing them at risk of multiple deprivations and increases their susceptibility to violence and abuse. The event was led by UNICEF in partnership with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UN Women, and included an opening statement by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. It was also held in observance of the inaugural International Day of the Girl Child to be held annually on 11 October which recognizes the unique challenges faced by girls around the world (including early marriage) and the need for greater attention to achieving girls rights. Child marriage occurs in almost all geographic regions, though higher rates of the practice are found in South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. UNICEF continues to work with all partners to raise the legal age of marriage in all countries to 18 years and to address other forms of gender discrimination. In addition to the UN Secretary-General, other participants in the event included Bangladesh State Minister for Women and Child Affairs Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury; South African Nobel Laureate and Chair of The Elders Archbishop Desmond Tutu; Nigerian youth activist Salamatou Aghali Issoufa, 22; UNFPA Executive Director Babatunde Osotimehin; UN Women Executive Director Michelle Bachelet; and UNICEF Deputy Executive Director Geeta Rao Gupta.

「國際女童日」以「我的生活我做主,拒絕童婚」為主題,在世界各地開展連串活動,藉此引起公眾關注這極為重要的議題。在紐約聯合國總部,大主教德斯蒙德.圖圖(Desmond Tutu)將聯同UNICEF、聯合國人口基金(UNFPA)和聯合國婦女署(UN WOMEN)共同商議辦法,讓政府、民間團體、聯合國機構和私營部門能攜手加快消除童婚習俗。在馬拉維,有議會以這問題為中心開展辯論;在烏干達,年輕人則利用短訊公開討論童婚這一習俗。

UNICEF透過與政府、民間團體,以及聯合國機構、基金會和項目方案合作,為全球消除童婚行動奠定堅實基礎。在2011年,34個國家辦事處同利用了社會、經濟和法律改革來着力處理童婚問題。

印度是世界上其中一個有最多女童在18歲前結婚的國家,雖然就全國來說,童婚個案宗數經已下降,以州份計算,童婚數目亦從1992至1993年的54%減至2007至2008年的43%,但進展仍算緩慢。

A banner bearing the slogan Allow me to choose my husband after I turn 18, and the logos of the Government, the NGO Tostan and UNICEF, advocates against early marriage. It is being displayed at an event in Darsilameh Village renouncing FGM/C and early marriage in 24 communities in eastern Upper River Region. The change in community practice of these traditional norms came about through their participation in the Community Development and Empowerment Programme, supported by the Government, the NGO Tostan and UNICEF. On 14 June 2009 in the Gambia, women representing 24 neighbouring villages in Upper River Region gathered in Darsilameh Village to announce and celebrate an end to the practices of female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) and early marriage in their communities. An estimated 3 million African girls in 28 countries are subjected to FGM/C every year, a social convention linked to traditional perceptions of girls status for marriage. But FGM/C also causes great suffering and often life-long and life-threatening health risks. FGM/C and other pervasive practices such as early marriage are now recognized as manifestations of gender inequalities that threaten the well-being of girls and women and increase maternal health and child mortality risks. In the Gambia, 78 per cent of girls/women aged 15-49 years have been subjected to FGM/C; a figure that rises to 99 per cent in the Upper River Region. Likewise, almost half of Gambian girls marry before age 18. The 14 June celebration is part of a process, now underway in several African countries, of changing harmful and gender-discriminating social norms through a human rights-based approach, in which knowledge and support are offered to encourage positive change that is directed by community members themselves. In Upper River Region, some 80 communities mainly from the Mandinka ethnic group are participating in this process through the Community Development and Empowerment Programme, implemented by the Government, the international NGO Tostan and UNICEF. Public declarations renouncing harmful practices are a critical part of the process, affirming a communitys commitment and helping to create a critical mass for nationwide change. More than 600 people including girls and women, religious leaders, village chiefs, delegates from youth and womens groups, government officials and representatives from Tostan and UNICEF attended the Darsilameh celebration. UNICEF在2006年支持通過《禁止兒童婚姻法》,此後一直支持國家發展和執行全國性消除童婚策略,以協調各計劃和政策,解決童婚的成因和後果。UNICEF與國家合作時,亦會參與發展國家行動計劃,並支持成立女童會和婦女團體,訓練她們有關兒童權利的知識,教導她們同何透過與社區合作的方法,促進社區對話,消除童婚。

揉合多個不同文化背景的國家,如:孟加拉、布基納法索、吉布提、埃塞俄比亞、印度、尼日爾、塞內加爾和索馬里,總結得來的經驗,使我們發現結合法律措施和社區服務,尤其是教育,能讓大眾明白童婚以外的「選擇」,帶動社區討論童婚議題,啟迪民智,作出消除童婚的集體決定。

Anju Malhotra女士亦指出:「童婚往往導致女童輟學。在童婚盛行的社區,迎娶未成年女童只是集體社會規範的其中一部分,這種規範和態度,其實反映了該社會漠視女童的人權。」

20 December 2010: Salma,18, conducting a class at a Kishori Club session, where colleagues and other peer leaders discuss various social issue such as early marriage and eve teasing in Paharpur Village, Nachol Upazila, Chapai Nawabganj. She refused early marriage, and as a peer leader she is going door to door to advocate social change in preventing early marriage. Legally, the minimum age of marriage is 21 for boys and 18 for girls. However, 74 per cent of girls are married before the age of 18. Over one third of girls are married before the age of 15. Although illegal, the practice of dowry requiring a brides family to pay significant sums to the groom encourages the marriage of the youngest adolescent girls because younger brides typically require smaller dowries. Dowry demands can continue after the wedding and sometimes result in violence against the bride when families are unable to pay. Early marriage also causes girls to drop out of education and limits their opportunities for social interaction. Only 45 per cent of adolescent girls are enrolled in secondary school and even fewer attend regularly. New brides are expected to work in their husbands households and are subject to the same hazards as child domestic workers. In addition, early marriage leads to early pregnancy. One third of teenage girls aged 15 to 19 are mothers or are already pregnant. Adolescent mothers are more likely to suffer from birthing complications than adult woman. 教育是其中一項最有效防止童婚的策略。當女童能夠上學,改變態度,亦可以減少區內發生童婚的情況。

雖然童養媳的比例在過去30年來不斷下降,但童婚數目仍在全球多個地區持續高企,特別是在農村和最貧困的社區,童婚至今依然時有發生。有些童養媳更是社會上最邊緣化、處於最弱勢的一群。至於年輕的新娘則往往會被遭孤立,比如:被迫遠離直系親屬、被迫輟學、被迫與同輩及社區斷絕來往。

根據UNICEF的最新估計,大約7,000萬位20至24歲的年輕女性中,即約每3名年輕女性便有1名,是在18歲之前結婚的,當中有2,300萬人更在15歲前結婚。就全球來說,現時近4億名(相當於逾40%)20至49歲的婦女在孩童時期已經成婚。

童婚令女童面對意外懷孕和過早懷孕的問題,而兩者均可對女童構成性命威脅。與妊娠和分娩相關的死亡個案,是全球15至19歲女童死亡的主要成因,每年有約5萬人因而致命。此外,10至14歲的女童死於妊娠和分娩的機會,更是20至24歲婦女的5倍。

In Old Malda, a Unicef Billboard reads "No to Child Marriage. The law of the land is with me. I need your support." It is part of a 4-poster series campaign. Rumi Hemron, Member of Adolescent Girls Clubs Against Child Marriage in Assam. Now it's not our time to get married, We'll not get to play. We'll not get to go to school, says Rumi.

「透過全球作出共同承諾、社會運動、立法和獨立倡議計劃,女童將可以在安全的環境下茁壯成長。」Malhotra女士續指:「因此我們必須加快步伐,投入資源讓女童能享有權利,發展潛能。」