By Julitta Onabanjo, Benoit Kalasa, and Mohamed Abdel-Ahad
Dr. Julitta Onabanjo is regional director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) East and Southern Africa Region. Benoit Kalasa is regional director of UNFPA West and Central Africa, and Mohamed Abdel-Ahad is the regional director of UNFPA North Africa and Arab States
OHANNESBURG, May 28 2014 (IPS) - Just 17 years old, Clarisse is already a mother of two, who lives with her husband and his four other wives in rural southern Chad. Three years earlier, she had watched her mom and sisters preparing food for a party one day. At first she celebrated along with everyone else, not realising it was her own wedding ceremony. When she discovered this, she was frantic.
18 May 2014 – With malnutrition and conflict stalking the youngest and most vulnerable citizens of South Sudan, the United Nations warned today that hundreds of thousands of children in the country's most crisis-torn areas are at imminent risk of death and disease, including the threat of cholera.
Growing up, Ojonwa Miachi's parents were told not to spend on education for her and her four other siblings — all of whom are female. However, her parents refused to give in to pressure and were determined to give all of their five daughters the education they themselves were fortunate enough to receive.
By Sandrine Rastello May 14, 2014 5:15 PM ET
More than 142 million girls from India to Niger will be married before they turn 18 over the next decade, increasing their chances of being illiterate, victims of domestic violence or infected with HIV, a World Bank report showed.
Posted: 05/01/2014 11:50 am EDT Updated: 05/02/2014 9:59 pm EDT
When my first child was born four years ago, no sooner had he entered the world, than the hospital staff handed me a form to fill out. Despite my happy, delirious, sleep-deprived state of mind, I was able to fill out the simple form and hand it off to a nurse. It was really an afterthought for me. I was more concerned with spelling my son's name correctly and how I would change a diaper than what the form actually meant. And yet, about six weeks later, a birth certificate arrived in the mail. I spent three minutes filling out a form but it wasn't until that certificate arrived that the government knew my son existed. This is a right I had always taken for granted and yet it is denied to millions of children around the world every year.