Thursday, August 28, 2014

Mtoto wa miaka 5 aolewa

Amhara, Ethiopia - 

 Parents unable to look after children are marrying them off at a tender age, exposing them to maternal deaths.

Mekdes Murgeta does not remember her actual wedding, but her family told her it happened when she was five. Pointing at her own five-year-old daughter she confirms she was her age.  

Murgeta lives in Mosebo, a rural village in the Amhara region in central Ethiopia. There, as in the rest of Ethiopia, it is illegal to be married before the age of 18.

According to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Amhara has some of the highest rates of child marriage in the world

 Estimates in 2009 show at least 50 percent of women marrying before they reach 18. Murgeta thinks she is around 28 now, but is unsure. Keeping track of your age is not common here.

She is six months pregnant with her second kid. "I want to adequately serve them, adequately feed them. If I have many children, I can't do that," she explains. 

Murgeta is part of a growing number of Ethiopian women, many of them child brides, who are taking control of their reproductive lives. 

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