DAY 7 // DECEMBER 1, 2012
Womenís Economic Security
DECEMBER 2, 2012
Child Marriage and Violence
Child marriage is the union of two people when one or both is below the age of 18. It is also called early or forced marriage as the consent is either not asked or the child doesnít have power to resist their parents. Child Marriage is a violation of human rights and the rights of the child.

It affects both girls and boys, although girls are affected in greater number with more serious consequences. Child brides are usually forced to drop out of school to bear children and to work at home. They are isolated from their friends and family, may go out just with their husbandís approval, and donít earn their own money so they are economically dependent on their husbandís family and have little or no power in their new households. For these reasons, child brides are especially vulnerable to domestic violence.

In some communities, the marrying of a girl is seen as a safeguard against premarital sex, and protection of the girl from sexual harassment and violence. The reality is different. Girls who marry before the age of 18 are more likely to experience violence within marriage than girls who marry later.

He beat me up twice. I remember the first time was because I didnít charge his phone.

(Child spouse)
Once a girl is married she can feel powerless to refuse sex. She is likely to find it difficult to insist on condom use by her husband, who commonly is older and more sexually experienced, making the girls especially vulnerable to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Early marriage can lead to unplanned pregnancy, to complications in pregnancy and even death as the girlís body is not prepared for bearing a child.

In Kosovo, child marriage is not a common practice though it happens in some communities. When child spouses from Roma, Ashkali and Egyptians communities were interviewed many of them reported suffering from domestic violence "several times".

Domestic violence can impact severely on mental and physical health, including reproductive health. This can include internal bleeding, injuries to the fetus, miscarriage, and sterility, as well as depression and fear of future relationships. Girls suffering violence may not be permitted to see doctors, which can further impact on their health.

Greater attention needs to be paid to the issue of child marriage, and to girls at risk, will protect young brides from the marriage and domestic violence. Especially important is the education of girls and giving them life skills to make them less vulnerable to early marriage. Provision of information, and access to social and health services including sexual and reproductive health and HIV prevention, belong to other important factors leading to the end of the child marriage.

Educated girls get married later, they can decide about their lives, their family, their children are more educated and healthier, and the whole society benefits.
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DAY 9 // DECEMBER 3, 2012
Violence against non-majority groups
DAY 10 // DECEMBER 4, 2012
Violence against children