ROLPA, July 21: Over 80 girls below the age of 20 gave birth in Rolpa District Hospital in the last fiscal year. Among those, 12 had to go for surgery due to health complications. According to the hospital officials, a significant number of underage women seek abortion service. Women’s health in Rolpa is scary, thanks to child marriage.
“I got married when I was in sixth grade. I gave birth to a baby boy the next year, and he’s three now,” said a 19-year-old woman from Sunchhahari Rural Municipality – 3. She stopped going to school after marriage. Neither her parents nor her in-laws told her to go to school, she said.
A 21-year-old woman fromThawang Rural Municipality has a similar story. She was in seventh grader when she eloped with her boyfriend. “I had to marry him because he had impregnated me. I did not know that we could get pregnant without getting married. Lack of knowledge led me to this path,” she said. She added that it is very normal for girls in Rolpa to marry at an early age, ‘though it is not a good practice.” Her husband is in the Middle East for employment.
“It is sad to see a young pregnant girl. At a time when they need care and protection, the girls instead have to bear family responsibility,” said Meena Kawar, a nurse. “Early motherhood has taken a toll on women, and on children’s health and well being,” she added.