Access to communications contributes to increasing child marriage

Published On: June 9, 2018 05:11 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

BAITADI, June 9: Control of child marriage has been becoming a challenging task in Baitadi, the district of Province 7. 

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) district program coordinator, Ganesh Shahi, said the rural areas have an access to internet facilities and mobile phones and people are using such facilities for different purposes. Its use depends on the interests of users. But its impact on adolescent girls seems not positive as it has promoted early marriage among them, he argued. 

Internet, the means of communications, helps people to bring closer, but teenage girls are using it to find a partner for (early) marriage, which does not give a positive message, according to him. 

"Girls who wed early are more vulnerable to violence", Women Development Supervisor Bishna Bhandari said. Facebook chats and mobile phone conversations with known and unknown boys ease them to share their heart and finally elope without thinking much about the future. 

Almost all students have mobile/cell phones. She views that students up to Grade 12 should be prohibited from carrying mobile phones and giving them proper knowledge on safe use. 

Following negative consequences of the mis/use of communications technology, local levels have already started banning the use of mobile phones in schools. According to Dogadakedar Rural Municipality Chair Chakra Karki, they have already issued a notice asking the schools to ban carrying cell during school time. RSS

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