Lawrence says UNICEF report on child marriage misleading

first_img… 6% of Guyanese girls are wedded before 15 – reportBy Jeanna Pearsonsocial Protection Minister Volda Lawrence has stated that because of cultural differences in Guyana, there is a clause in the Sexual Offences Act which allows for a child under the age of 15 to be married.Social Protection MinisterVolda LawrenceHer statement comes on the heels of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report, “The state of the world’s children 2016: A fair chance for every child”, which indicated that six per cent of children in Guyana were married by the age of 15, while 23 per cent are married by the age of 18.Lawrence expressed shock over the report and stated that while she has not seen it, the figures were misleading taking into consideration the provision in the Sexual Offences Act.“We don’t have child marriage,” she responded, further explaining that there was a clause in the Sexual Offences Act which allowed for a parent to carry their child to the court and ask for consent for him/her to be married.Director of the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association (GRPA) Patricia Bisnauth, in an interview with Guyana Times, stated that “culture” was one of the major factors why child marriages occurred.“It is because we believe that the ultimate goal of a girl is to get married and so by marrying young, you prevent pregnancy before marriage, but what we are doing is enslaving our girls,” she said pointedly, asserting that at 15 years old a girl is not in a physical or emotional state to raise a family.“And this worries us because they are not ready for marriage or equal partnership,” she said.Patricia Sheerattan BisnauthThe report revealed these percentages were calculated for the years 2008 to 2014. It also stated that 10 per cent of men and 10 per cent of females justified wife beating for the period of 2010 to 2015.It indicated that two of the major factors for child marriage, which accounted for some 15 million girls being married globally every year, were poverty and children with little to no education. It stated that girls with educational constraints were up to six times more likely to be married than girls who have a secondary education.Past reports by the international organisations had stated that Amerindian and East Indian women were more likely to be married before age 18 when compared to African women. It highlighted that these women were usually 10 or more years younger than their husbands.The situation had deteriorated to a point where Guyana was ranked alongside Trinidad and Tobago as countries where adolescent marriages were prevalent. In Guyana, a teen can be legally married at the age of 16 with the consent of a parent or legal guardian.However, the UNICEF report insists that adolescent marriage violates a child’s right to an education and a normal childhood. It stated that these girls are subordinate to their husbands and families, and as such, have become more vulnerable to domestic violence, and are not in a position to make decisions about safe sex and family planning – which inevitably puts them at higher risk of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, high-risk pregnancy and childbearing before their bodies are fully mature.It expounded that mothers who are still children are at higher risk of potentially disabling complications, like obstetric fistula (complication caused by prolonged obstructed labour), and both they and their babies are more likely to die.According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) 2013 report, titled “Motherhood In Childhood: Facing the challenge of adolescent pregnancy”, the Caribbean ranks second only to continental Africa in the number of adolescent girls under 18 years old becoming pregnant annually. Approximately 20 per cent of young girls across the Region reported having their first pregnancy as adolescents.Meanwhile, UNICEF affirmed that while child marriage may seem to be an intractable problem, it occurred because societies often placed a lesser value on girls. However, it indicated that there are tested strategies that can change girls’ lives, preserve their childhoods and empower them to make better futures for themselves and their societies.“These involve increasing girls’ access to education, empowering girls with knowledge and skills, educating parents and communities, increasing economic incentives and supporting families, and strengthening and enforcing laws and policies that set the minimum age of marriage at 18 for both girls and boys,” the report stated, adding that education was one of the most crucial factors.It stated that focused investments to reach and empower poor and marginalised girls through health, education, social protection and other systems can create alternative pathways for girls and their families. No less critical is the slow, patient work of changing social norms.UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador Angelique Kidjo stated that when a girl’s education was cut short, she lost the chance to gain the skills and knowledge to secure a good job and provide for herself and her family.“They are socially isolated. As I observed among my former schoolmates who were forced to get married, the consciousness of their isolation is in itself painful. By robbing girls of their potential, child marriage robs families, communities and nations of the contributions these girls might have made as women,” she said, adding that the phenomenon hampered countries’ efforts to improve the health of mothers and children, fight malnutrition and keep children in school.“When girls are married as children, they cannot help but pass on poverty, low education and poor health – into which they themselves have been trapped – to the next generation,” she affirmed.Earlier this year, a pregnant 14-year-old girl was found dead in a house with her common-law husband. The couple were together since she was 12 years old; the man was 20 years old.There are many other cases of teenage girls involved in relationships with older men. Bisnauth stated that such incidents should be worrisome to the population, because “our young girls are being robbed at a very young age of their childhood and their innocence”.She stated that the six per cent, although it was small, it was one too many. She stated that in most of these cases, the girls would not have completed their secondary school education and/ or would have been pressured by their families to stay in the unhealthy relationship.Bisnauth added that she was in accord with the report that child marriage contributed significantly to impoverishment, not only in the child’s family but in the nation in its entirety.last_img read more

Peru’s Guerrero cleared for World Cup as ban cut

first_img“The suspension period starts on 3 November 2017, the date on which the player was provisionally suspended by the chairman of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee,” it added.The 33-year-old attacker, who plays for Brazilian giants Flamengo, was banned after “testing positive for cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine” following a World Cup qualifier against Argentina on October 5.The former Bayern Munich striker missed Peru’s play-off victory over New Zealand, which made the South American nation the 32nd and last country to qualify for the World Cup, after being provisionally suspended for 30 days for the offence on November 3.He was then slapped with a one-year suspension by FIFA on December 8, but the decision to partially uphold his appeal means Guerrero will be free to represent his country in Russia.Peru beat New Zealand 2-0 on aggregate to secure a first World Cup finals appearance since 1982. They have been drawn alongside France, Australia and Denmark in Group C.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Peruvian captain Paolo Guerrero as banned after “testing positive for cocaine metabolite benzoylecgonine” following a World Cup qualifier against Argentina on October 5, 2017 © AFP/File / Ernesto BENAVIDESPARIS, France, Dec 20 – Peru captain Paolo Guerrero has had his one-year drugs ban reduced to six months, FIFA said in a statement sent to AFP on Wednesday, allowing him to play at next year’s World Cup.“The FIFA Appeal Committee after taking into account all the circumstances of the case, in particular the degree of fault of the player, considered a six-month period of ineligibility to be a proportionate sanction,” FIFA explained.last_img read more

Brand South Africa hosts JCI

first_imgBertolt Daems, the world president of the Junior Chamber International (JCI) and the South African President of JCIBertolt Daems, the world president of the Junior Chamber International (JCI), was hosted by Brand South Africa today, on his first visit to the country. Daems is in South Africa to engage young active citizens in creating sustainable positive change in society.Daems, who will be in the country until 3 November, arrived at the Brand South Africa head office in Houghton to a warm welcome from the organisation’s director of stakeholder relations, Iggy Sathege. JCI South Africa is a non-profit organisation affiliated to the international body, a worldwide community of young active citizens between the ages of 18 and 40 who believe that to create positive change, people must improve themselves and the world around them.With more than 200 000 active JCI members and millions of JCI alumni, such as former president FW de Klerk and Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary-general, the organisation leads projects in the areas of individual, business, community and international development in over 100 countries.During Daems visit, strategies will also be mapped out for empowering young people by improving their lives and those of the people in their immediate communities, irrespective of the adversities they face. Brand South Africa will be partnering with the JCI to encourage active citizens, such as those on the group’s Play Your Part website.Spearheaded by Brand South Africa, Play Your Part is a nationwide campaign created to inspire, empower and celebrate active citizenship in South Africa. It aims to lift the spirit of the nation by inspiring all South Africans to contribute to positive change, become involved and start doing – because a nation of people who care deeply for one another and the environment in which they live is good for everyone, it says.On 2 November, Daems will speak to youth and civil society organisations about issues that will help to create a change in the country. This event will also be hosted by Brand South Africa.The involvement of young people in attaining the Millennium Development Goals will be discussed, as will the participation of South African youth in global initiatives such as the Malaria Nothing but Nets campaign and the United Nations’ Global Compact. Programmes of JCI locally and internationally will also be promoted.Rounding off his stay in the country, Daems will visit Soweto on 3 November.last_img read more

Youth at heart of South Africa’s policies

first_img2 June 2015South Africa has made enormous strides in youth development over the past two decades, according to Jeff Radebe, the minister in The Presidency for performance monitoring and evaluation.“That is why over the past 20 years of freedom and democracy in South Africa we gave education the highest budget allocation, more than any other departmental budget vote,” he said.Speaking at the Youth Month launch at the Hector Pieterson Memorial in Soweto yesterday, Radebe said that in 1994 only 150 000 African students were enrolled in higher education; by 2012 over 750 000 African students were enrolled and the increases were reflected across the black majority.“Government bursaries for higher education have been increased from R21-million in 1994 to R8-billion in 2013, offered through the National Students Financial Aid Scheme [NSFAS].”Economic transformationRadebe called on the youth to help bring about radical economic transformation by taking a step to participate in personal economic development. “The youth must be found in farming, in ICT, in the financial institutions, in the media, in engineering, in sports, in cultural activities and all other activities that constitute the economy of our country.”The cabinet had approved the National Youth Policy 2020, which sought to address the youth development agenda, economic participation and transformation. It also addressed education, skills development, health care and substance abuse, and nation building.By the end of 2014, the government had spent over R730-million to support over 15 000 youth enterprises. “I am confident that the establishment of the Small Business Development Department will further consolidate expansion of youth entrepreneurship,” Radebe said.Gauteng education MEC Panyaza Lesufi said the provincial government was repositioning the economy of Gauteng so that young people were the new gold. “The new gold is the young ones that are here: they are the ones who are going to create jobs; they are the ones that are going to be innovative; they are the ones who will be business people; and they are the ones that are going to present the skills we need.“We don’t want these young ones to apply for social grants. We want the social grants for these young ones to be their mental capability so that they can have their own social grants from their own pockets and not from the government.”Bursaries for studentsThe Gauteng cabinet had made several decisions, he said: that the top three matriculants in each school would receive a bursary to study at a higher education institution for four years; that every pupil in Grade 11 would be required to get a driving licence as a skill; and that from 2016, students who dropped out of university because of financial difficulties or because they were pregnant would get bursaries to further their education at an institution for higher education as part of the Second Chance programme.This year marks 39 years since the 16 June 1976 uprisings, commemorated each year in June which has been designated Youth Month. Youth Day, an annual public holiday is on 16 June. This year, the theme is “Youth moving South Africa forward”.Also speaking at the launch, the executive chairman of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) said the fund had spent R29-million on micro and small youth-owned enterprises through its Business Grant Programme, in 2014.The programme helped more than 1 000 small businesses, Yershen Pillay said. “The NYDA further provided non-financial business development support to 62 990 young aspiring and established entrepreneurs. We are indeed making significant strides in promoting youth entrepreneurship.”To date, the agency’s Solomon Mahlangu Scholarship Fund had provided 586 young people with scholarships to the value of R40-million. It was launched in March 2014.“Today we can speak of an NYDA that has proudly supported 938 044 young South Africans with career guidance interventions and 1 253 049 young people with valuable information to access the plethora of opportunities provided to youth by the government,” Pillay said.Source: SAnews.govlast_img read more

Northeast groups to protest against govt’s bid to reintroduce Citizenship Bill

first_imgNon-Governmental Organisations across the northeastern States have lined up protest programmes against the Narendra Modi government’s bid to reintroduce the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.Assam Finance and Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said a few days ago that the Centre would reintroduce the Bill in Parliament in November. The proposed legislation was cleared by the Lok Sabha in January but not tabled in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act of 1955 and grant citizenship to people from minority communities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of stay in India even if they do not possess any proper document. The current requirement is 12 years of stay.In Nagaland capital Kohima, the North East Forum for Indigenous People (NEFIP) has scheduled a ‘public protest’ on October 3 to mark the beginning of the campaign against the Bill perceived to be a demographic threat to indigenous communities, some of whom number less than 1,000.NEFIP president Ningthouja Lancha said the organisation had asked all the Legislative Assemblies of the eight north-eastern States to adopt a resolution against the Bill and urge the Centre to take necessary steps to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.The NEFIP is a conglomerate of 250 social organisations in the northeast.Student organisations Mizo Zirlai Pawl, Khasi Students’ Union and All Manipur Students’ Union have pledged support to the protests.In Assam, the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti has sought a united protest by the State’s indigenous organisations against any attempt to pass the Bill. “We will not accept the Bill under any circumstances. It poses a huge threat, which will affect the spirit of democracy. We cannot let this kind of Bill destroy our society,” its leader Akhil Gogoi said.last_img read more

Ceres’ AFC bid resumes vs Brisbane

first_imgLATEST STORIES Eustaquio says he has edge in five-round fight vs Akhmetov in rematch Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH While it sees playing in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Champions League as a bonus, Philippines Football League champion Ceres-Negros is determined to put up a creditable showing as it continues its qualifying bid on Tuesday against one of the top Aussie sides in Brisbane Roar.A couple of weeks after returning from the holiday break, the Busmen are looking to pull off one of the biggest upsets in tournament history against a team that finished third in the Australian League last season.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:12Sotto: Expect something explosive as new evidence, witnesses appear vs ‘ninja cops’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers Read Next MOST READ Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PH View comments 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Kickoff is set 5 p.m. (Manila time) at Queensland Sport and Athletic Stadium.Making the task even more difficult for the Busmen, who won the Asean zonal finals of the AFC Cup last year, is the fact that Brisbane is already in the middle of its season, although the Roar is running eighth.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutout“It’s still the second week of preseason for us so we are obviously unprepared to play these kind of games,” said Ceres coach Risto Vidakovic, who survived Myanmar’s Shan United to set up a meeting with the Roar.The winner of the match will travel to China to face Tianjin Quanjian in the final round of qualifying. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasalast_img read more

a month agoMan City boss Guardiola on Liverpool hacking scandal: We’re all bugged

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man City boss Guardiola on Liverpool hacking scandal: We’re all buggedby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester City boss Pep Guardiola says everyone is bugged after responding to their hacking scandal.In 2013, City’s online scouting network had been hacked by a rival Premier League club who accessed their database of player targets.The Scout 7 system was password protected – but City believe their network was illegally accessed.It’s emerged in The Times that Liverpool are believed to have made City a £1million payment in a confidential settlement of the data breach.Guardiola said: “Today there are not secrets any more. Look what happened in the big governments in the states and Russia and everywhere everyone knows it.“No secrets anymore. You want to keep a secret? Don’t tell to a friend, on devices or mobile phone, today anything can happen.” last_img read more

3 days agoMan Utd chief Woodward explains Jones TV ‘exchange’

first_imgMan Utd chief Woodward explains Jones TV ‘exchange’by Paul Vegas3 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United chief Ed Woodward has lifted the lid on his apparent exchange with Phil Jones during defeat to West Ham,The executive vice-chairman was caught uttering something in the direction of Red Devils’ defender Jones in the stands during Sky Sports’ broadcast of the 2-0 loss at the London Stadium on September 22.The interaction came after the centre-back – who was sitting behind Woodward during the match – was shown seemingly muttering something under his breath.However, Woodward has denied those claims and insisted that he was talking to United’s club secretary Rebecca Britain – sitting next to Jones – about an incident in the game.”Phil was talking about whether decisions were offside or not,” he explained in an interview with club fanzine United We Stand.”There was a foul and I turned around to Rebecca Britain, our club secretary [and said] ‘Was that a yellow card on him? [Issa] Diop?'” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

How much per gram Provinces feds to start debating price tag on

first_imgOTTAWA – Governments from across the country will meet next month to debate a key question about Canada’s eventual recreational-marijuana market — how much should users pay for their pot?Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau said Monday that cannabis taxation will be on the agenda when he meets with his provincial and territorial counterparts.Morneau said the Trudeau government has begun designing a taxation regime — but he insisted the top concerns for Ottawa remain getting weed out of the hands of young Canadians and dealers on the street.“Taxation will follow those principles, so we will be thinking about how we can ensure that the taxation doesn’t generate a black market,” Morneau said.“We will constantly be looking at how we can ensure that we get criminals out of the market and protect youth in the market. That’s our goal.”He’s been adamant that maximizing federal revenues will not be the priority when it comes to pot and he’s suggested the feds favour keeping prices competitive in order to wipe out illegal activity.A recent C.D. Howe Institute report found 90 per cent of the black market would disappear if pot cost $9 per gram, projecting $675 million a year in federal and provincial revenues if governments only applied existing sales taxes.Last fall, the parliamentary budget officer projected 2018 sales tax revenue for Ottawa and the provinces combined to be as low as $356 million and as high as $959 million.Provinces and territories have been busy since the Trudeau government tabled legislation last month to legalize and regulate recreational pot use. Ottawa’s goal is to make it happen by July 2018.Quebec Public Health Minister Lucie Charlebois said in an interview last week that the province is looking at its taxation options, but that it needs more information from Ottawa.“We’ve got to see what the federal (government is) going to do,” said Charlebois, who added the cost of legal pot must be competitive with street prices.Alberta Justice Minister Kathleen Ganley said in a statement earlier this month that she has asked Ottawa for more information on the tax regimes for recreational pot because the federal legislation did not include details.“The end goal must be to limit the black market as much as possible and taxation cannot drive the price of the product too high if we are to achieve this goal,” Ganley said.Follow @AndyBlatchford on Twitterlast_img read more