See More on Facebook

Culture and society

On escaping child marriage in Nepal

She escaped child marriage, now she is helping others do the same.

Written by

Updated: July 5, 2019

Twenty-year-old Bipana Nepali has been actively working against child marriage ever since she escaped from the clutches of her own impending marriage two years ago.

Bipana, a resident of Harshahi in Dudhauli Municipality-6, Sindhuli district, is well aware of the evils of child marriage.

“I may be one of the few lucky girls to have escaped child marriage. When other girls are asked to marry young, some agree because they don’t know that it’s illegal, and also because they are unaware of the negative implications of such a practice,” Bipana said. “That is why I spend most of my days talking to young girls about why child marriage is wrong, so that they can make an informed choice when the time comes.”

Bipana not only talks about the negative impact of child marriage but also the legal provisions allowed by law. Being privy to such information, according to her, was quite helpful when her own parents had decided to marry her off when she was just 18.

“Two years ago, my parents pressured me to get married, even threatening of consequences if I said no,” said Bipana. “But when I told them that it was illegal to marry me off at such a young age, they called off the wedding.”

The row with her parents still haunts her, Bipana said.

“I can’t imagine what my life would be like now if I had married then. But there are young girls who give in to pressure and agree to get married early. I have started down this path so that I can help other girls stand up for themselves,” she said.

Bipana pays regular visits to villages in her area and raises awareness on the negative impact of child marriage. She also encourages parents and guardians to attend her workshops in a bid to educate them on the issue.

In the past two years, Bipana and her team have successfully stopped three child marriages in Harshahi. Harshahi, once infamous for its high rate of child marriage cases, was free of the practice this past year. The local people credit Bipana and her team for their successful campaign against the practice in the area.

“The villagers have learnt about the legal provisions and negative impacts of child marriage from Bipana,” said Ram Kumari Pariyar, Bipana’s neighbour.

Meanwhile, adolescent girls of Sunkoshi Rural Municipality have launched a drive against child marriage and have formed a network that carries out awareness campaigns.

“In the past six months, we stopped 10 child marriages in this area. The local people are gradually opening up towards learning about the ills of child marriage,” said Dipa Acharya, chairperson of the network.

As per the civil and criminal code, the legal age of marriage is 20 years for both men and women in Nepal.

Enjoyed this story? Share it.

The Kathmandu Post
About the Author: The Kathmandu Post was Nepal’s first privately owned English broadsheet daily and is currently the country's leading English-language newspaper.

Eastern Briefings

All you need to know about Asia

Our Eastern Briefings Newsletter presents curated stories from 22 Asian newspapers from South, Southeast and Northeast Asia.

Sign up and stay updated with the latest news.

By providing us with your email address, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

View Today's Newsletter Here

Culture and society

What South Asian sci-fi can tell us about our world

Dismissing sci-fi and fantasy as low-brow or trashy isn’t just a desi stance, although it might be more pronounced. My first encounter with a work of desi science fiction was very much by accident. During my undergraduate studies at the English department at Karachi University, while idly browsing through a professor’s personal collection on her desk, I came across Rokeya Sakhawat Hossain’s Sultana’s Dream, a English-language short story set in a feminist utopian world written by a Bengali Muslim woman in 20th century colonial India. Up until then, my study of literature had been mostly white, mostly male authors, an unsurprising fact when we take into account the (Western) literary canon’s inherent whiteness and maleness, as well as the institutional history of English departments as tools of the colonial project — teaching works

By Dawn
July 16, 2019

Culture and society

Beer manufacturers told not to confuse Muslims

Brewers told not to make non-alcoholic beer. Beer manufacturers in the country have been told not to confuse consumers especially Muslims by producing alcohol-free drink. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Dr Mujahid Yusof (pic) stressed that alcohol-free beer is only confusing Muslims and it is not a wise move. “Using the name alcohol-free beer is confusing as the process of producing the drink including distillation is carried out in the system used to produce alcohol products. “We know the alcohol-free drink is produced by a beer manufacturer but it would cause confusion as some Muslims thought they could consume the drink,” he said. Mujahid, who is also Parit Buntar MP, was commenting on a viral promotion of zero-alcohol beer by a beer manufacturer at a convenient store. In this regard, Mujahid advised Muslims not to consume any pr

By The Star
July 15, 2019

Culture and society

Indonesian pre-teen writes to Trump

Why do you always export your waste to my country. A surge of waste imports into cities in East Java has prompted a teenager to write to United States President Donald Trump to protest about the incoming trash. Aeshnina Azzahra, a 12-year-old from Gresik, East Java, wrote that the river in her neighborhood was “very dirty and smelly” as many factories dispose of their waste carelessly on land and water. She said she had to write to Trump because the US was among the largest exporters of waste to Indonesia. “Why do you always export your waste to my country? Why don’t you take care of your own waste,” she wrote in her letter. Aeshnina also participated in a protest held by environmentalists in front of the United States Consulate General in Surabaya, East Java, on Friday. She said America’s waste had also polluted Indonesia’s oceans and consumed by

By The Jakarta Post
July 15, 2019

Culture and society

Why Pakistan must stop hanging juvenile offenders

Despite the prohibition, cases of juvenile offenders’ executions are far from the exception. The following is an excerpt from Justice Project Pakistan’s (JPP) book, The Death Penalty in Pakistan: A Critical Review, to be launched on July 11, 2019 in Islamabad. A culmination of 10 years of JPP’s work, the book documents the many ways in which Pakistan’s application of the death penalty intersects with legal, social and political realities. It focuses on how capital punishment impacts some of the most vulnerable populations: juveniles, the mentally ill, persons with physical disabilities, low-wage migrant workers imprisoned in foreign jails and the working class. Relying on public records for multiple JPP clients sentenced to death, nearly a decade of experience in the field, as well as extensive experience with legislation and advoc

By Dawn
July 11, 2019

Culture and society

South Korean Instagrammers react to export curbs

#BoycottJapan is trending in South Korea. Angered by Japan’s move to restrict exports of vital manufacturing materials to the country, South Koreans have taken to Instagram and other social-media platforms to show their support for boycotts of Japanese travel and consumer products. More than 2,400 public posts with hashtag #BoycottJapan have been shared on Instagram since the measures were imposed July 4, with some including a picture using Japan’s red rising sun icon as “O” in the word “No.” “NO, Boycott Japan: Don’t go, don’t buy,” it says. The latest flare-up amid decades of ill-will over Japan’s past aggression came when South Korean courts seized assets belonging to Japanese companies they held liable for cases of forced labour during the 1910-1945 period of colonisation. Although Abe has denied that the export controls are retaliation, the spat has fanned nationali

By The Star
July 9, 2019

Culture and society

UNESCO adds to its heritage list with several Asian sites

The World Heritage Committee has added several sites from across Asia into UNESCO’s World Heritage list. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has added multiple world heritage sites to its prestigious list this past weekend including several from Asian countries. The World Heritage Committee met in Baku, Azerbaijan to discuss the sites before releasing the list of new inductees on Saturday and Sunday. The new Asian World Heritage Sites are as follows: Dilmun Burial Mounds (Bahrain) The Dilmun Burial Mounds, built between 2050 and 1750 BCE, span over 21 archaeological sites in the western part of the island. Six of these sites are burial mound fields consisting of a few dozen to several thousand tumuli. In all there are about 11,774 burial mounds, originally in the form of cylindrical low towers. The other 15 sites include 17 r

By Cod Satrusayang
July 8, 2019