We are now in a world where Latin women dating on their own accord and based on their preference is accepted in Latin America. Sadly, this is not the case with girls who belong in an indigenous group, girls coming from poor families and girls that are residing in rural areas. For them, child marriage is still a common practice as reported by Unicef.
United Nation children’s agency or more commonly known as Unicef reported that the rest of the world has already awaken to the horrors of child marriages except for the Caribbean and Latin America. While the number of child marriages continues to decline all over the globe, these two regions are showing no sign of stopping anytime soon.
In the case of South Asia region, the number has already reduced between 30 and 50 per cent for last decade. Though there is a decrease in the Caribbean and Latin America, the figure is only at 25 per cent.
According to Unicef’s chief covering Caribbean and Latin America, Maria Cristina Perceval, real progress has been document from various parts of the globe in an attempt to give protection to girls who are subjected to child marriage. She added that the case in her region is not a positive one because it is still evident that one in every four girls is subjected to marriage before they reach the age of 18 years old.
With these girls, they are not given the same opportunities that life could offer be it for medium term or long term. It is also common in couples who engaged in child marriage to battle early pregnancies as well as sexual violence. In the end, they are left with no choice but to stop going to school and they are secluded from people of their same age bracket.
In the region, only four countries have made policies regarding the ban child of marriage – Guatemala, Honduras, Dominican Republic and El Salvador.
It is the hope of Unicef that time will come that Latin women dating will enter the marriage stage when they are able and when they want to instead of being forced into a union when they are still considered a child.