Somalia possibly saying "I do" to child marriage bill

On the twelfth of August, Somalia celebrated national youth day but many children's lives are currently under attack with a new bill being considered from their parliament. The new bill would allow a child to be legal for marriage as soon as her organs matured and allow forced marriage if the family gave consent. Already more than 45% of young women in Somalia were married or “in union” before age 18, according to a United Nations analysis in 2014-15.

Somalia has had an issue with sexual violence and underage marriage for years. In 2013, Somalia agreed to propose a bill protecting women against sexual violence laws. With five years of work, the bill was approved by the council of ministers and sent to parliament. According to ABC News, a quote from a U.N representative stated, last year the speaker of the House of the People sent the bill back “in a process that may have deviated from established law” asking for “substantive amendments”.

Somalians have created a petition to stop the bill from passing with thousands of signatures already. The U.N is urging parliament to reconsider keeping the first bill that does not allow practices that victimize Somalian children.

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