"We are both, my husband said." He told my father he wanted to live with me and was pregnant. My father said: "If you want to live, you will be well treated, then you will go to work". That's what he said. They were upset, but I was already pregnant, so they just left.
(Adolescent of 17. Cuzco)
In Peru, three out of every ten women aged between 15 and 49 joined their partners when they were under the age of 18. That is, they started to live with them when they were still teens. Even worse, 10% were under 15 years old. Currently, there are more than 50 thousand adolescents aged 12 to 17 who are united with an older man.
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These are some of the results found in the study "Peruvian adolescents in marriage or community: traditions, challenges and recommendations" prepared by the International Plan and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA Peru) to which they had access The Commerce.
The report analyzes data from the census of 2017 and interviews with adolescents from poverty and extreme poverty Piura, Loreto, Cusco and Lima united with adult men.
The early unions They are forced to relate to the beginning of life in a couple for which it is more problematic teensbecause it affects rights such as health, the risk of maternal mortality and access to education, because most do not finish secondary school.
"The early union in Peru remains a problem that arises in the context of violence and exclusion. Although relatively low, compared to 40 years ago, this is a situation that we should no longer have, "explains Walter Mendoza, a UNFPA population analyst.
The study identified two points in all cases of forced early union. The first is when a couple makes a decision to join, often associated with pregnancy; and the other is when a lawyer talks – alone or accompanied by his relatives – with relatives of the adolescent to agree or notify the union.
In Piura, for example, the & # 39; theft & # 39; It's ritualized. This happens when a couple escapes with a mutual agreement and spend one or two nights together. When juvenile parents find out, there is a type of negotiation between both families that ends in cohabitation or marriage.
The situation is different in Loreto, where 50% of women aged 15 to 19 years joined when they were underage. In this region, negotiations between parents are quick and require economic benefits for the adolescent's family.
In the cases of Lima, on the other hand, there is opposition to the family of minors. It is considered that motherhood is not the reason for unifying the couple. Mothers usually receive their pregnant daughters at home, so they continue studying.
– The most affected –
Forced wound union and child marriage they constitute a violation of human rights and oppose the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the goals of sustainable development (ODS) that the Peruvian state wants to achieve by 2030.
The worst affected are adolescents who end up in a cycle of poverty and maternity that limits them.
"Another context is the environment of violence that girls and adolescents experience. For them, starting a new life with a partner is the perfect excuse to escape from the house where they shout at her, where she may be exposed to sexual violence, but it's a vicious circle, "says Maria Villalobos, director of Save the Children.
For UNICEF, both child marriage so early trade unions should disappear. Louisa Martinez, UNICEF Gender Equality Officer, says the country needs more information on sex education in schools and that it has trained teachers to do so. "There are gender norms that accuse adolescents, instead of giving them valuable information," Martinez says.
In order to try to reduce the problem, the study states that sexual education is necessary in schools.