Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative (WRAPA) shows support and congratulates Rise Up and other Civil Society Organisations that worked tirelessly to push for the promotion and protection of Women’s and Girls Rights.
‘’In 2013, Rise Up began funding several Guatemalan partners to advocate for a law to end child marriage. Rise Up leaders collaborated with a coalition of civil society partners to achieve an important legislative victory in 2015, when the Guatemalan Congress passed a national law banning the marriage of minors. However, the 2015 law contained a loophole stating that minors could still be married with permission from a judge. With this loophole in place, girls’ fundamental rights remained at risk, as they could still to be forced into early marriages against their will’’.
Early marriage has it disadvantages on the life of young girls as it increases withdrawal from their education; some as early as elementary school; were subject to physical and sexual violence; risked dangerous pregnancies and went without crucial medical care. Many aspects of their lives are usually controlled by older men who considered the girls little more than sexual and domestic servants.
Furthermore, due to the level of physical immaturity and psychologically unprepared young mothers, there is high rate mortality as delivery of children is performed at home by unprofessional birthing attenders.
‘’Rise Up leaders continued fighting for girls’ rights by advocating for an amendment to the 2015 law. On August 17th, 2017, the Guatemalan Congress repealed the child marriage loophole. Now, no Guatemalan minor may legally be married for any reason, with no exceptions’’
This victory is a huge win for girls and women. Research demonstrates that girls who delay marriage are much more likely to stay in school, postpone childbearing, and grow into women who can pursue their own hopes for the future.
As this important victory in Guatemala shows, girls, youth, and women really do have the power to transform their own lives, communities, and countries.
Sources – http://www.riseuptogether.org/en/ By Rise Up