Santo Domingo (Agenzia Fides) - "Plan Internacional República Dominicana", an organization that promotes children's rights, recently presented its latest study entitled "Characterization of forced marriage of girls and adolescents in the provinces of Azua, Barahona, Pedernales, Elías Piña and San Juan". The study highlights that child marriage is the result of structural forces such as poverty and domestic violence. Both the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua occupy the first place in Latin America and the Caribbean with regards to married girls and teenagers. According to information sent to Fides, 37% are married before 18 years of age and 1 teenager out of 5, between 15 and 19, is married to man who is 10 years older.
The NGO explains that in the Country, child marriage is associated with the violence suffered by girls and teenagers in their families, the pressure for unwanted pregnancies, violence in couple relationships with adult men, and the idea that marriage is a path that will allow them to emancipate. The study also shows that childhood marriage in the Dominican Republic is a complex problem. The girls report that although there are lessons on the subject at school, these are not frequent and refer only to reproduction and not sexuality, violence, or relationships. They have no space where to discuss these issues without fear, guilt and prejudice. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 5/5/2017)