AMERICA/CHILE - Poverty, discrimination, infant marriages among the Latin American plagues

Tuesday, 4 July 2017


Santiago del Chile (Agenzia Fides) - The percentage of pregnant teenagers in Chile is higher in the Afro descent and Indigenous population. The ethno-racial component also aggravates the phenomenon. The figures were announced by representatives of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Cepal) during the meeting Every Woman, Every Child, organized in Santiago with the aim of seeking a global health strategy for women, children and young Latin Americans for the period 2016-2030.
According to information sent to Fides, currently about 75 million people are poor and 185 million live in extreme poverty in Latin America. This precarious state predominantly affects women, 40% of the poorest population, mainly because they do not have an income. Among children and adolescents, 42.5% live in poverty and 20.8% in extreme poverty from birth to 14 years of age.
Another factor of inequality and discrimination involving women is maternal mortality, which reaches 529,000 cases per year in the world. Of these, 99% is registered in the poorest Countries, for complications associated with pregnancy and childbirth, intra-family violence and social abuse. Early childhood marriage in Latin America and the Caribbean accounts for 4% of women who marry before the age of 15. Local authorities are also worried about child labor that involves so many children in countries such as Brazil, Mexico and Peru, and high rates in others such as Haiti, Bolivia and Paraguay. Universal health policies need to focus on childhood, adolescence and women, such as national education programs and means to overcome poverty. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 4/7/2017)