Friday, February 23, 2007

Le sort des adolescentes dans la plupart des zones rurales de l'Inde

La plupart des gens se tordent de rire au souvenir de leurs jeunes années. Entre les souffles qui passent, les coups de cœur qui attristent, les émotions qui déchirent, il y a ce sentiment de liberté, cet engouement pour la vie, cette soif pour l’aventure, ce désir d’être soi, cette passion pour « l’ici et le maintenant » ….Ce sont les années où l’on vit le plus intensément.

Qu’en est-il des filles indiennes dont plus de 45% se retrouvent mariées avant 18 ans ?

45% of Indian girls married off before 18: Jharkhand, Bihar, Rajasthan Worst offenders : Survey—Times of India, Friday, February 23, 2007—Kounteya Sinha

It’s a social ill that continues to shame India. Nearly 45% of women in the country, aged between 20 and 24, are married off before they reach 18, the legal age to marry. What’s worse, the number is over 50% in eight states.

While 61% of women in Jharkhand were married off before 18, the number stood at 60% in Bihar, 57% un Rajhastan, 55% in Andhra Pradesh, 53% each in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal and 52% un Chhattisgarh.

Lack of education was found to be a major factor funneling this trend. Over 71% of women who got married below the age of 18 had received no education.

These are part of the findings of the latest National Family Health Survey-III, carried out in 29 states during 2005-06.

The survey, conducted by 18 research organizations, including five population research centres, and designed to collect and provide vital information on population, family planning, maternal and child health, child survival, nutrition of children and status of women, also unmasks another worrying trend. Six states—Arunachal Pradesh, Punjab, Mizoram, Sikkim, Tripura and West Bengal—which reported a lower percentage of under-18 marriages among women during the NFHS-II survey conducted in 1998-99, show an upward trend in NFHS-III. Officials say more and more women in these six states are being married off at the age of 15.

The survey, which interviewed 1,24,395 women and reported a response rate of 94.5%, shows that this social malady exists mostly in rural India. While 52.5% of the cases of under-18 marriages were found to be in rural areas, the number stood at 28.1% in urban India.

Some states, however, have shown a low prevalence of this practice. States like Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Punjab, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Utarakhand and Meghalaya reported 12%-25% prevalence.

The scourge of child marriage continues to haunt India. “Because women questioned for the marriage survey were between 20-24 years of age, this figure shows us a trend that is recent. It’s shocking that nearly half the women in that age group, many from progressive states, were married off before they attained the age of 18. In some of the country’s biggest states, over half the women met this fate. This has serious implications on their chances of higher education and their fertility rate,” said Dr Kamla Gupta, chief coordinator of NFHS-III from the International Institute of Population Sciences, Mumbai.

According to a health ministry official, a girl marrying below 18 often gives birth to an unhealthy child. Dr R K Sinha, an expert on marriage trends in IIPS, told TOI, “this is a disturbing trend. Even though several states like Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan and UP have shown a decline in this practice in NFHS-III, the numbers are still above 50%. This shows that the Child Marriage Restraint Act of 1976 isn’t being implemented effectively by several states.”

1 comment:

Pradeep said...

O, yes, another of India's scourges. Some of it is because of local customs, others because of utter poverty.