3. GOOD HEALTH AND WELL-BEING

In Nicaragua, Early Marriages & Teen Pregnancies Are Normal – Havana Times

In Nicaragua, Early Marriages & Teen Pregnancies Are Normal – Havana Times
Written by ZJbTFBGJ2T

In Nicaragua, Early Marriages & Teen Pregnancies Are Normal  Havana Times

In Nicaragua, Early Marriages & Teen Pregnancies Are Normal – Havana Times

Report: Concern for Adolescent Births, Child Marriage, and Maternal Deaths in Nicaragua

Two pregnant teens. Photo: Confidencial

Introduction

A report from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights expressed concern for the high level of “adolescent births,” child marriage, and maternal deaths in Nicaragua.

By Confidencial

Teen Births in Nicaragua

Nicaragua has the highest rate of teen births in Latin America and the Caribbean, with 85.6 cases for every 1,000 adolescents, according to 2022 statistics published by the World Health Organization (WHO). This situation is a cause for concern for the United Nations organizations. However, the Ortega-Murillo government authorities have normalized this issue.

The WHO data was cited in a report from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) entitled: “Human Rights Situation in Nicaragua.” The statistics indicate that complications from pregnancy and birth are the principal cause of death among young women aged 15-19 in medium and low-income countries.

The OHCHR suggests that governments adopt legislative and political measures to prevent unwanted pregnancies. However, in Nicaragua, this is not happening, which could possibly represent a violation of a series of human rights for girls.

The Penal Code in Nicaragua considers any sexual contact with a minor as a crime. However, the Ortega regime neither investigates nor sanctions the aggressors in the face of thousands of child and teen pregnancies. This normalization of violence against girls and teens is observed by sociologist and feminist Maria Teresa Blandon.

Pregnant Teens in State-run “Maternity Houses”

All feminist organizations in Nicaragua are aware that the “casas maternas” (centers where pregnant women receive attention) in the country are full of pregnant girls and teens. The government has normalized pregnancy in girls and teens, including pregnancies resulting from rape. The Ministry of Health ensures that these kids can access a hospital to give birth to prevent greater risks, as these are high-risk pregnancies.

According to the WHO statistics cited in the OHCHR report, the Ministry of Health registered 37 maternal deaths in 2022, with 19% of them being women under 20. The report also notes that Nicaragua has low rates of access to contraceptive methods.

Between 2020 and 2021, Nicaragua’s National Institute of Information for Development recorded 28,408 teen pregnancies, including cases of girls aged 10 to 14. Nicaragua’s public health policies lack strategies aimed at preventing these pregnancies and sexual abuse and violence against girls.

A pregnant teen receives attention at a Managua health clinic. Photo from government website “El 19 digital.”

Child Marriage in Nicaragua

Another expression of the multiple violations of girls’ human rights in Nicaragua is early marriages. In 2021, there were 29 pregnant girls between the ages of ten and fourteen who were married. In general, there were 1,192 minors in common-law marriages.

Nicaragua’s Family Code prohibits marriage for those under 18, although there is an exception for those between 16 and 18 who receive parental permission. However, this provision violates international norms.

Child or teen marriages imply multiple human rights violations and demonstrate insufficient progress toward Sustainable Development Goal 5 (gender equality), according to the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. These marriages seriously limit girls’ integral development, including in the educational and professional spheres. Nicaragua lacks human rights guarantees for women and girls, who are not sufficiently protected from gender violence, including child marriage, as determined by the report.

The combined impact of the absolute ban on abortion and the high rate of early pregnancies in the country concerns the OHCHR, as these factors lead to unsafe abortions and the death of pregnant women and girls.

Former Health Minister’s Justification for Teen Marriage

In Maria Teresa Blandon’s opinion, this situation continues because within the regime, there is no understanding of the problem. She recalled that Sonia Castro, Nicaraguan Minister of Health from 2019-20, once commented in a public conference held on the campus of the National Autonomous University in Managua that it was normal, that it was part of the Nicaraguan culture for girls and very young kids to get together with older men.

The sociologist noted that very early marriages are an old practice in Nicaragua, but this is not a justification, as they are also associated with violence. These girls have no possibility of making decisions and are exposed to every kind of abuse and violence.

A Context of Gender Violence

These violations of girls’ human rights occur in a context of prevalent gender violence in Nicaragua. The Ortega-Murillo regime has closed over 315 NGOs that were previously working for women’s rights in different areas of the country.

The Institute of Legal Medicine reported an increase in cases of sexual violence from 4,803 in 2021 to 5,049 in 2022. Adolescents made up the majority of the victims, with 73% of the victims being under 18 in 2022. The regime has released little data regarding femicides, and when they do, the

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

SDGs Targets Indicators
SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being 3.1: By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio – Maternal deaths among young women aged 15-19 in Nicaragua (37 deaths in 2022, 19% of total maternal deaths)
SDG 5: Gender Equality 5.3: Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early, and forced marriage – Number of child marriages in Nicaragua (29 pregnant girls between ten and fourteen married in 2021)
SDG 5: Gender Equality 5.6: Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights – Rates of access to contraceptive methods in Nicaragua (mentioned as low in the article)

Analysis

1. Which SDGs are addressed or connected to the issues highlighted in the article?

The issues highlighted in the article are connected to SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being and SDG 5: Gender Equality.

2. What specific targets under those SDGs can be identified based on the article’s content?

Based on the article’s content, the specific targets identified are:

– Target 3.1: By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio.

– Target 5.3: Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early, and forced marriage.

– Target 5.6: Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.

3. Are there any indicators mentioned or implied in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets?

Yes, there are indicators mentioned in the article that can be used to measure progress towards the identified targets. These indicators include:

– Maternal deaths among young women aged 15-19 in Nicaragua (37 deaths in 2022, 19% of total maternal deaths) as an indicator for Target 3.1.

– Number of child marriages in Nicaragua (29 pregnant girls between ten and fourteen married in 2021) as an indicator for Target 5.3.

– Rates of access to contraceptive methods in Nicaragua (mentioned as low in the article) as an indicator for Target 5.6.

The article provides specific data and statistics that can be used to measure progress towards these targets.

SDGs, Targets, and Indicators

  1. SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being

    • Target 3.1: By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio
      • Indicator: Maternal deaths among young women aged 15-19 in Nicaragua (37 deaths in 2022, 19% of total maternal deaths)
  2. SDG 5: Gender Equality

    • Target 5.3: Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early, and forced marriage
      • Indicator: Number of child marriages in Nicaragua (29 pregnant girls between ten and fourteen married in 2021)
    • Target 5.6: Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights
      • Indicator: Rates of access to contraceptive methods in Nicaragua (mentioned as low in the article)

Behold! This splendid article springs forth from the wellspring of knowledge, shaped by a wondrous proprietary AI technology that delved into a vast ocean of data, illuminating the path towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Remember that all rights are reserved by SDG Investors LLC, empowering us to champion progress together.

Source: havanatimes.org

 

Join us, as fellow seekers of change, on a transformative journey at https://sdgtalks.ai/welcome, where you can become a member and actively contribute to shaping a brighter future.

 

About the author

ZJbTFBGJ2T