A number of the 21 Coptic Christians who were recently shown being beheaded in a horrific video by Islamic State militants in Libya were reportedly whispering the name of Jesus as their
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Three things about: Child marriages in Malaysia
Malay Mail Online
KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — For better or worse, Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Shabudin Yahaya’s recent remarks in Parliament has cast a spotlight on child marriages in Malaysia.
With the country aiming for first world nationhood, should marriages of minors be allowed to continue? There have been arguments for and against this practice, with child development advocates heavily in favour of ending it.
To help you understand this issue better, Malay Mail Online has compiled a list of the facts and figures that you should know:
1. What does the law say?
Malaysians are only considered an adult by law when they turn 18, but the legal age applicable on matters like when they can have sex and get married is a different thing altogether.
The age of consent for sexual intercourse in Malaysia is 16, which makes sex with any woman below age 16 a crime, regardless whether they consented to it or not, and punishable by law. However, marital rape is not a crime in Malaysia.
Children are actually allowed to marry under existing Malaysian laws. The legal age to marry also depends on whether you are Muslim or non-Muslim.
Under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act's Sections 10 and 12, non-Muslims can only be legally married if they are aged at least 18 and will require parental consent for marriage if they are still below 21. Under this law, they are considered minors if they have yet to turn 21 and are not widows.
But the same law provides for an exception, where a girl aged 16 can be legally married if the state chief minister/ mentri besar or in the case of the federal territories, its minister, authorises it by granting a licence; as are ambassadors, high commissioners and consuls in diplomatic missions abroad.
As for Muslims, the minimum legal age for marriage in the states' Islamic family laws is 18 and 16 for a male and female respectively, but those below these ages can still marry if they get the consent of a Shariah judge.
Local Islamic family laws do not list the factors that Shariah courts need to consider before approving underage marriages or impose a limit on how young a Muslim can be married under this exception.
But Shariah Lawyers Association of Malaysia deputy president Moeis Basri told Malay Mail Online that Shariah courts are bound by Shariah laws regardless of whether they are codified.
In practice, he said this means that Shariah judges will exercise their wide discretionary powers to consider all relevant factors before deciding whether or not to approve underaged marriage. This includes looking at physical signs showing puberty such as menstruation in the girl, and also the level of maturity in both the child bride and groom to be.
“Under the Shariah law, only (a) person that has attained age of puberty can get married. The age of puberty may differ from one person to another. This is one of the things that any application for underage marriage needs to prove. Of course there are other factors that need to be considered by the court before allowing or rejecting the application,” he said, adding that applications for Muslim underage marriages are not automatically approved but have to be shown to have merits.
2. Women marry young
For the past 40 years, Malaysian women have tended to marry at a younger age than men.
Even as the average marriage ages for both genders have been rising from 25.6 and 22.1 in 1970 to 28 and 25.7 in 2010 for men and women respectively, Malaysian children have still been marrying at a young age and in some cases also ending their marriages at an equally young age.
According to the 2000 census, there were 10,267 out of 2,411,581 children aged between 10-14 who were married, while 229 and 75 children in this age group were widowed, divorced or permanently separated. Girls who were married outnumbered boys in this age group at 58 per cent to 42 per cent.
When broken down according to gender, 4,334 out of 1,237,519 boys aged 10-14 were married as of 2000, while 71 were widowed and 17 were divorced or separated. As for the girls, 5,933 out of the 1,174,062 in this age group were married, while 158 and 58 were respectively widowed and divorced or separated.
The 2010 census oddly does not show any figures for those in the 10-14 age group who were married, widowed or divorced. Instead, it records all 2,733,427 children in this age group as falling under the Never Married category.
As the overall population grew from 22,198,276 in 2000 to 28,334,135 in 2010, the number of those married in the 15-19 age group more than doubled from 65,029 to 155,810, while those who were widowed at these ages went up from 594 to 1,451, and those divorced or permanently separated from their spouse by then increasing from 849 to 1,071.
In 2000, those in the 15-19 age group who were married was overwhelmingly female at 53,196 as opposed to male at 11,833. In 2010, it was split between females at 82,382 and males at 73,428.
3. Demand for child marriages
The census figures reflect what appears to be sustained demand for child marriages in Malaysia.
On March 7, 2016, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim told Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto in a written parliamentary reply that the number of applications for Muslim child marriages between 2005 to 2015 was 10,240. The figure for the approved applications was not provided.
The annual average of applications for Muslim child marriages recorded by the Department of Shariah Judiciary Malaysia between 2005 to 2010 is 849, while the annual average for 2011 to 2015 is 1,029, Rohani had said.
As for non-Muslim child marriages recorded by the National Registration Department during the 2011 to September 2015 period, there were 2,104 girls aged between 16 and 18 involved, Rohani said.
The majority of these teenage girls (68 per cent) or 1,424 of them were married to men aged 21 and above, while the remaining 32 per cent or 680 of them were married off to those closer to their ages at 18-21.
Amid calls for child marriages to be banned in law in Malaysia, civil society groups have also advocated recently for the inclusion of what they dub a “sweetheart defence”, where young couples with small age gaps, such as teenagers are spared prosecution.
Critics of child marriages have highlighted high-profile cases such as where a 40-year-old man married a 13-year-old girl that he had raped and a man in his 20s marrying a girl he had raped at the age of 14, while others have raised the chain of problems linked to child marriages such as high-risk pregnancies, greater risk of maternal death and domestic violence, as well as disrupted education.
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Medical records released. Stalin had a micropenis.
Nigeria: The Ugly Scars of Female Genital Mutilation
"I was circumcised when I was 14 years old, alongside my mates; it was a norm in Ebonyi State, those days.
"This tradition signifies that a girl has come of age, and is used to initiate girls into womanhood. Women take great joy in the practice. Most of us circumcised are kept in a room to heal, fed and treated specially by the older women," Nkechi Amadi recalls.
"Am presently unmarried at 40 years of age. I live with the pain every day; the pain is one you don't forget in a hurry. Imagine the torture when you want to ease yourself, especially with that grave injury between your legs, it's easier said than pictured or experienced," she further said.
Ene Joshua is now 30 years old, she was circumcised when she turned 15. She said the pain is something she still lives with.
"The experience flashes before your eyes, and dampens the ecstasy of love making. I am sure am frigid; sex just does nothing for me. That experience has ruined me for life. I have never had an orgasm," she laments.
Female Genital Mutilation is a violation of the human rights of girls and women and a form of gender-based violence.
According to the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), FGM/C is a cultural practice with devastating medical, social, emotional, legal and economic repercussions for young girls and women.
The fund explained that the term refers to all procedures involving partial or total removal of the female external genitalia or other injury to the female genital organs for cultural or other non-medical reasons.
The UNFPA, also working to eliminate the practice of FGM/C, added that it has no medical benefits and so violates the human rights of women and girls and jeopardizes their health, rights and overall well-being.
A thought emphasized by the UNICEF Representative in Nigeria Mohamed Fall who said "every study and every bit of evidence we have shows there is absolutely no benefit to mutilate or to cut any girl or woman for non-medical reasons. It is a practice that can cause severe physical and psychological harm."
The 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey revealed that five states in Nigeria have rates of Female Genital Mutilation and Cutting (FGM/C) that are more than 60 per cent.
The report revealed that Osun and Ebonyi states have the highest prevalence at 77 and 74 per cent respectively.
The other states are Ekiti, 72 per cent; Imo, 68 per cent; and Oyo, 66 per cent.
Globally, at least 200 million girls and women in 30 countries alive today have suffered some form of Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting (FGM/C) as stated by fact sheet released by the United Nation Children Fund (UNICEF) and United Nation Population Fund (UNFPA).
According to the survey, the practice though concentrated in Africa, is practiced in some communities in Asia, Latin America, and the Arab states.
In a desperate attempt to stop the practice, in 2008, the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation was established and has since supported 17 countries in undertaking holistic and integrated work to end FGM/C.
So far, 13 countries have created policies and legal provisions and budget allocations to fight against FGM/C while more than 1.6 million girls and women have received services for FGM/C through various interventions.
According to the United Nation organisations, more than 18,300 communities, comprising about 25.5 million people have disavowed FGM/C.
But despite this laudable intervention, some communities still continue to indulge in the practice.
In Imo State, Ogechi Nwosu who said she inherited the trade from her mother, added that the practice was the only source of livelihood she indulged in to cater for her family.
Asked if given another source of livelihood she would give that up, she said, hesitantly, "I will try, but it's my profession. What will I tell mothers when they call me to circumcise their girls.
"Even if I refuse they will patronize another person to do the job. In my village there are five of us doing this business, so you see there is competition."
In 2016, the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme, working with governments, civil society and communities, said they were able to achieve some positive results in their struggle to end the menace.
In a fact sheet provided by UNICEF and UNFPA, they numerated the result to include, public declarations of abandonment of female genital mutilation made in 2,906 communities across 15 countries and 10,080 families in Egypt, reaching a total of about 8.5 million people.
They provided access to prevention, protection and treatment services to more than 730,000 girls and women, while in some instances the perpetrators were brought to justice and laws enforced.
According to them, 71 arrests were made, 252 FGM/C cases tried in court with 72 convictions, while four countries - Eritrea, Nigeria, Mauritania and Uganda - introduced FGM/C-related budget lines.
For many girls yet unborn and for those quickly approaching the forbidden age, this is a welcome development, as if fully implemented it will prevent them from undergoing the life time trauma.
Girls 14 and younger represent 44 million of those who have been cut, with the highest prevalence of FGM/C among this age in Gambia at 56 per cent, Mauritania 54 per cent and Indonesia where around half of girls aged 11 and younger have suffered the practice.
Countries with the highest prevalence among girls and women aged 15 to 49 are Somalia (98 per cent), Guinea (97 per cent) and Djibouti (93 per cent). In most of the countries the majority of girls were cut before their fifth birthday.
Momentum to address FGM/C is growing. Prevalence rates among girls aged 15 to 19 have declined in the last 30 years, such as in Liberia by 41 percentage points, in Burkina Faso (by 31), in Kenya (by 30) and in Egypt (by 27).
In February 2016, wife of the President, Hajiya Aisha Buhari, launched a national campaign to end FGM/C, calling on all parties to work together to halt this harmful practice.
Her call underlines the need for collective action at every level.
The Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Hajiya Aisha Jummai Alhassan, said the ministry would work with its donor partners and all wives of governors of the affected states to stop the practice.
She added that advocacy and campaigns would be launched in those states to underscore the harmful effect it had on girls who were circumcised.
The elimination of FGM/C has been sought for by numerous intergovernmental organisations, including the African Union, the European Union and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, as well as in three resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly.
It would be recalled that the Sustainable Development Goals, the global compact adopted in 2015 by 193 United Nations Member States, called for an end to FGM/C by 2030 under Goal 5 on Gender Equality, Target 5.3 Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates the need to invest about $980 million to have a significant impact in tackling FGM/C between 2018 and 2030.
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Young Sex for Sale in Japan
Japan has a serious problem with the sexualisation of children. From bars where men pay to meet schoolgirls to suggestive pictures of very young children and comic books featuring child rape, the country has faced global criticism for its attitudes. It was only three years ago that possessing genuine child pornography was finally made illegal.
Stacey Dooley, one of BBC Three’s most popular documentary-makers fronts another powerful, hard-hitting investigation when she travels to Tokyo, Japan to look into what effect the law banning child porn has had and to see if the attitude towards the sexualisation of children has changed.
Stacey discovers a culture where sexual images of young girls are widespread and used for commercial gain. Her first stop is a legal Tokyo ‘JK’ café in which high-school aged girls are paid to provide company to older men – who tell her that it is perfectly normal to talk about sex and hold hands with girls as young as 15 dressed in school uniform.
Stacey uncovers an even more disturbing legal grey area exists in Japan called ‘Chako Ero’ where children as young as six are filmed or photographed in erotic clothing. She speaks to a producer of these films as well as a self-confessed paedophile to try and discover just why some Japanese culture seems to encourage inappropriate exploitation and sexualisation of children.
Following the law change, the documentary examines what else Japan is doing to stop normalising the sexualisation of children. Stacey meets volunteers from a charity trying to help vulnerable girls, as well as the Head of the Juvenile Section at the National Police to find what they are doing to protect young girls.
The Serge Kreutz diet is the ultimate sex diet via the day-long stimulation of taste buds with chocolate.
The future of the world will be that it is ruled by China, and Western men will be the sex slaves of Chinese women. Because Chinese men have big brains and small penises, but Chinese women want big ones.
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