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Over 10 million children are out of school in Nigeria and the global pandemic has only made it harder for young people to stay in school. There have been dire consequences for girls, who are at risk of being married off. In a recent report,…
A woman protests against child marriage in Lagos, Nigeria.
News
A case pending before Colombia’s Constitutional Court, brought by Causa Justa, creates a landmark opportunity to end an approach to abortion that violates the rights of women and health workers by decriminalizing this critically important health care…
News

Nepal Was Far Ahead of Its Neighbors in Protecting Reproductive Rights

I am the daughter of a formidable campaigner for women’s reproductive rights in Nepal. Decades ago, when such issues were not part of the playbook for development activists, my mother, a medical doctor, started setting up family…
Women activists lie down on the road during a protest demanding women’s rights in the constitution in Kathmandu, Nepal, August 7, 2015.
News

But Making Chaupadi a Crime is Only a First Step

In July, 18-year-old Tulasi Shahi died after a snake bit her while she slept in a shed where she had been banished – because she was menstruating. The shed, unlike her home, was open to snakes and other animals. Her death was…
A chaupadi hut, in a family's yard, where female members of the family are obliged to sleep during their menstrual periods. Kailali district, western Nepal.
News

Still No Concrete Plan Despite Early Promises

Progress towards ending child marriage in Nepal appears to have ground to a halt, despite early hopes. Nepal, with the third highest rate of child marriage in Asia – 37 percent of girls married before 18, and 10 percent married by 15 – had been…
17-year-old Anjana M., married at 14, sits outside her home with her two-year-old daughter Ishita. Anjana’s aunt and uncle pressured her to marry her husband because of rumors about her relationship with him. Anjana’s father sent her to Pokhara when she w
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Human Rights Watch is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization made up of roughly 400 staff members around the globe. Its staff consists of human rights professionals including country experts, lawyers, journalists, and academics of diverse…
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Woman’s death in a ‘menstruation hut’ in Nepal shines light on dangerous taboo

Dambara Upadhyay died alone aged 26 in a tiny mud hut she was banished to, just meters from her in-laws as her family slept. Her death has forced Nepal’s government to examine a practice that isolates and stigmatizes women and girls, pushes them out of…
A chaupadi hut, in a family's yard, where female members of the family are obliged to sleep during their menstrual periods. Kailali district, western Nepal.
News
Ramita married when she was 12 years old and her husband was 15. She describes it as a “love marriage” – she chose her husband and decided to marry him. But it’s not a simple romance.   Ramita’s choice is a reflection of how…
Lalita B.,17, had an arranged marriage at the age of 12 with a 37-year-old man.
News

Join Call for End of Abusive Practice On International Day of the Child

“I had three children – but two have already passed away,” Mahek Karn, age 19, told us, in a village in Nepal. Her parents arranged her marriage at age 16; she was pregnant within a month. Her daughter was one month old at the time of the interview, but…
Ganga M., 17, sits inside her home in Kailali, Nepal. Ganga had an arranged marriage at the age of 16 and was five months pregnant when this photograph was taken. Her husband works as a cook in India.
News
I never imagined a career in sex education. ​But in the villages of Nepal, it felt like there was no choice. I was researching a Human Rights Watch report on child marriage in Nepal, interviewing dozens of married girls, one after another,…
A five-year-old girl sits in a nursery school, which she is attending with a scholarship funded by a private sponsor. Quality education provides protection from child marriage—girls who are in school are less likely to marry. April 12, 2016.
Report
Summary Thirty-seven percent of girls in Nepal marry before age 18 and 10 percent are married by age 15, in spite of the fact that the minimum age of marriage under Nepali law is 20 years of age. Boys also often marry young in Nepal, though in lower…
News
“I had three kids. Two died. Only one is alive,” Kamala Kumari Pariyar told Human Rights Watch, sitting in the shade outside her home in Nepal’s southern Terai region. Kamala married at age 13. She attended school to class three but then…
Sharmila G., 14, eloped at age 12 and married an 18-year-old man. At the time this picture was taken she was seven months pregnant. She said that when rumors spread in her village about her relationship with her then-boyfriend, her parents tried to separa
News

Nepal Has The Third Highest Rate of Child Marriage in Asia

Narendra Chamar, who is now in his early 30s, laughs these days when he speaks about his marriage. But during the actual ceremony he cried so much they had to stop so he could be taken to his mother and breast fed. He was 18 months old.…
Manju M., 16, Tilmaya M., 18, and Sangeeta M., 19, wait with their children outside of a doctor’s office in Chitwan, Nepal. The parents of Manju M. arranged her marriage to a 19-year-old man when she was 15. Tilmaya M. eloped and married a 20-year-old man
News

Government Breaking Promises for Reform

(Kathmandu) – The Nepal government is not taking sufficient steps to end child marriage, causing deep harm to both girls and boys across the country, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. In July 2014, Nepal’s government pledged to end child…
Lalita B.,17, had an arranged marriage at the age of 12 with a 37-year-old man.
Video
The Nepal government is not taking sufficient steps to end child marriage, causing deep harm to both girls and boys across the country. In July 2014, Nepal’s government pledged to end child marriage by 2020. By 2016, this goal had shifted to 2030. But the…
News
The rapid spread of the Zika virus has raised concern among public health officials across the Americas. The World Health Organization warned Sunday that the virus is likely to spread further across the region. At first glance,…
A woman walks away from her apartment as health workers fumigates the Altos del Cerro neighborhood as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Soyapango, El Salvador January 21, 2016.
Report
Summary You are no longer in Nigeria. You are now in an Islamic kingdom. Here, women’s rights are respected, not like in Nigeria where women are made to work, farm, fetch water and firewood,…