Incident Reports

Early marriage deprives girls of educational opportunities


Doti, Baal vivah le garda shiksha ma avarodh DOTI, SEP 22 - Fifteen-year-old Nanda Jethara of Chhatisban VDC in the district said that she is not able to focus on her studies ever since her family members started pressing her to get married. Besides her insecure future, she is well aware that if she gets married, she may meet the fate of Saraswati Rawal, one of her relatives, who was married off at 13 and died during her delivery. “I want to pursue my studies but my family members are pressing me to get married,” Nanda said. Likewise, Urmila Kalel of Nirauli VDC-7 said he is finding it hard to concentrate on her studies after her family members are pressing to get married. “I want to complete my studies and want to become a nurse in future. However, I am not able to think of anything due to family pressure for marriage,” the tenth grader said. Jethara and Urmila’s cases are just the tip of the iceberg. Many children in the district are forced to get married underage, thus risking their future. Nanda and Urmlia said they are compelled to follow the footsteps of their parents who were married underage. “Our seniors do not listen to our problems. They fix our marriage without our consent,” Swaraswati Nepali said. Sabina Shrestha, acting Women Development Officer, said gender discrimination, poverty and lack of education are main factors for the trend of early marriage. “The problem is not a case of a particular area. It is prevalent in all villages,” she said, adding that a concrete policy is needed to discourage the practice. She said that her office has taken early marriage as a major social problem in the district, although it lacks exact data of children getting married off underage. According to the District Public Health Office, of the total 3,430 women who gave births in the past 10 months, 918 were under the age of 20. School Inspector Keshab Gyawali said many girls cannot continue their studies due to early marriage. “Most girls are m