This Valentine’s Day, Say #IDONT To Child Marriage

This Valentine’s Day, Say #IDONT To Child Marriage

What thoughts come to mind when you’re thinking of Valentine’s Day? Your partner’s affection? Chocolate and champagne? The heartwarming feeling of knowing that your child is secretly crafting you a card?

Perhaps you choose not to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and that is all right. It is our human right – freedom of thought and expression.

Imagine yourself forced into marrying a stranger, brutally removed from your home with no right to further your studies or earn money, forced into home labour, having children and being beaten up for the smallest mistakes – even forced into prostitution. Unable to voice your pain, having no one to listen to you.

Millions of children around the world are forced into such a marriage, against their will and without the slightest knowledge of how it will shape their future – how their lives, their physical and emotional wellbeing will be affected.

Child marriage is a human rights violation. Although the law is against it, this practice – often seen as a tradition – is widespread in rural and impoverished communities, where gender inequality is prevalent. In developing countries, one in nine girls is married under the age of 15. Unfortunate families and their children become locked in a vicious cycle of poverty that will engulf future generations.

By ending child marriage, these girls will be able to finish school, delay motherhood, find decent jobs, be able to provide for their families, live fulfilled lives and be removed from the cycle of generational poverty – as well as improve the economy.

Ukuthwala is a traditional practice that takes place in South Africa the practice of abducting young girls and forcing them into marriage, often with the consent of their parents. It occurs mainly in rural parts of South Africa – in particular, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. The girls who are involved in this practice are frequently underaged, including some as young as eight.

“If a family has six children and there is a daughter the family cannot support, it is a way of getting rid of her,” said professor Deidre Byrne, chairperson of the Unisa-Africa Development Programme set up to promote girls’ rights.

Although originally this practice was not intended to be an abuse of human rights, throughout the years and perhaps due to poverty, the practice has changed, and girls are no longer given a choice. Financial reasons can force the girl’s parents to accept the marriage; on the other side, the girl is often rejected by her own family if she tries to escape.

More than 91,000 South African girls between the ages of 12 and 17 are reportedly married, divorced, separated, widowed or living with a partner as husband and wife, with the latter forming the majority of the group.(Statistics SA)

Courtesy Buzz SA

A social worker with the Open Door Crisis Centre in Pinetown said that the price for a child bride can be R4,000, which “is a lot of money (if you have nothing)”.

Five little known facts about child marriage

1. Child marriage happens all over the world.

More than 700-million women and girls alive today were married before they turned 18. Although child marriage happens in the U.S. and the U.K. as well, it is most prevalent in developing countries, as one of the main driving forces is poverty.

2. Both boys and girls are married off by their parents, but girls are in much higher demand.

Marrying at such an early age forces both boys and girls into adult responsibilities. They have to drop out of school or are interdicted to attend school. Reaching adulthood, these people will lack the education required to campaign for themselves, being vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. The vicious circle of poverty stretches over yet another generation.

Girls forced into child marriage are at high risk of violence from their spouses, in-laws and even their own family, should they try to run away from an abusive relationship and return home.

3. Child marriage is almost universally banned.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women prohibit child marriage. These treaties have been signed or ratified by most countries, yet there are national and local laws that permit child marriage to take place with only parental consent.

4. Child marriage and teen pregnancy are dangerously linked.

Globally, complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death among adolescent girls. Child brides are at very high risk of complications during pregnancy and birth, as their bodies are not mature enough. They often have limited access to medical help. An early pregnancy, often the result of a rape, puts girls at risk of being married off to the father of their baby, whoever he may be.

5. There is a critical need for laws prohibiting child marriage and marital rape, for laws on birth and marriage registration.

Mandatory schooling and gender equality can definitely empower girls. By considering girls equal to boys there will be less motivation to engage in child marriage. Both girls and boys must be educated with regards to their sexual and reproductive health and their human rights. When girls are empowered and can stand up for themselves, they even become advocates in their community.

Perhaps the eradication of extreme poverty is one of the very first steps towards ending child marriages.

Since 2015, UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) has worked to improve global awareness of child marriage, as well as taking action to end child marriage through the #IDONT international campaign on Valentine’s Day.

Join in and say #IDONT to show your support towards the estimated 70-million girls who will be married as children over the next five years, forced to say “I do” and having their human rights violated.

Child marriage – Frequently Asked Questions or contact UNFPA South Africa.

This article was published on Huffington Post SA on 14 February 2018

 

 

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Sleigh, #Christmas #Haiku via @PatFurstenberg

Sleigh, a Christmas Haiku

A joyride through snow;

Santa glides across the sky.

A winter’s night dream.

~

Welcome to Christmas Haiku! This December you can enjoy a winter themed haiku each day until Christmas Day. From the 25th of December I will post a super-special series of haiku on a humorous theme. My Christmas prezzie for YOU! Subscribe to my blog (newsletter sign up on the right column or beneath this post) and never miss a haiku with your morning coffee or favorite cuppa! Merry Christmas!

You can enjoy more haiku on this page of my website or in my latest release book, Christmas Haiku:

An inspirational collection of winter and Christmas themed haiku to help you relax.Enjoy a daily haiku paired with gorgeous seasonal images as well as haiku for “The 12 Days of Christmas”

Find it on Amazon worldwide in paperback and eBook: Amazon US, Amazon UK.

Here’s a sneak peek:

Find all my book on Amazon. Enjoy!

He reads Joyful Trouble myBook.to/JoyfulTrouble
He reads Joyful Trouble myBook.to/JoyfulTrouble

I have just finished reading “Joyful Trouble” and I loved it!
Really funny and excellent likeable characters, especially the little brother Tommy. A charming read for those of us who understand the joys and pains of owning dogs.
Well worth a read, you won’t be disappointed. :-)”

Free book preview: Joyful Trouble, As Good as Gold, The Cheetah and the Dog, Belle Cat, Puppy, The Lion and the Dog, The Elephant and the Sheep

Text and Haiku-San © Patricia Furstenberg.

I hope you enjoyed my haiku. Let me know your thoughts in comment below.

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Christmas Tree and Saint Nicholas, #Christmas #Tree #Nicholas #gift #shoe #Haiku via @PatFurstenberg

Christmas Tree and Saint Nicholas, two Christmas Haiku

So tall for small child,

Only Dad reaches its top.

Christmas tree promise.

~

6 December holds a special place and my heart, it brings the first thrills of Christmas joy and of small miracles.

You might not know, but in Christian Orthodox tradition 6 December is the day we celebrate Saint Nicholas (Saint Nicholas of Myra, Nicholas of Bari or Nicholas the Wonderworker), who was an early Christian bishop of the ancient Greek city of Myra in Asia Minor (now Demre inTurkey). It is said that he was legendary for his secret gift-giving. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, children, brewers, and students.

Saint Nicholas resurrecting the three pickled children. Source wikipedia.
Saint Nicholas resurrecting the three pickled children. Source wikipedia.

How Saint Nicholas became the patron saint of children is quite an astonishing tale. Now remember that all the written records of his life were made on papyrus or parchment, less durable than present day paper, thus had to be re-copied by hand in order to be preserved for future generations. One story speaks of a wicked butcher who, during a dreadful famine, lured three little children into his house, killed them and placed their remains in a barrel to cure, planning to sell them later as ham. Nicholas, who was visiting that region to care for the poor and the hungry, saw right through the butcher’s white fabrications and resurrected the pickled children by making the Sign of the Cross.

Saint Nicholas Haiku

Clean shoes and bright hopes-

Children go to bed smiling.

Mom’s a child at heart.

~

Welcome to Christmas Haiku! This December you can enjoy a winter themed haiku each day until Christmas Day. From the 25th of December I will post a super-special series of haiku on a humorous theme. My Christmas prezzie for YOU! Subscribe to my blog (newsletter sign up on the right column or beneath this post) and never miss a haiku with your morning coffee or favorite cuppa! Merry Christmas!

You can enjoy more haiku on this page of my website or in my brand new haiku book: Christmas Haiku:

An inspirational collection of winter and Christmas themed haiku to help you relax.Enjoy a daily haiku paired with gorgeous seasonal images as well as haiku for “The 12 Days of Christmas”

Find it on Amazon worldwide: Amazon US, Amazon UK.

Here’s a sneak peek:

 

 

You can also read haiku and poems in my book As Good AS Gold:

I‘ve really enjoyed reading this collection of poems. Pat has found just the right voice for the puppy and his adventures. Has been a great comfort to me” (5* Amazon Review)

This is a fine selection of puppy poems” (5* Amazon Review)

As Good As Gold is also available in e-book, paperback and Large Print, colorful pictures, a dyslexia friendly edition:

get it on Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Espana, Amazon Deutschland.

Find all my book on Amazon. Enjoy!

Text and Haiku-San © Patricia Furstenberg.

I hope you enjoyed my haiku. Let me know your thoughts in comment below.

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Family, #Christmas #Haiku via @PatFurstenberg

Family, Christmas Haiku

Small hands, wrinkled hands

Share the same crooked smile and nose.

Photo of my heart.

~

Welcome to Christmas Haiku! This December you can enjoy a winter themed haiku each day until Christmas Day. From the 25th of December I will post a super-special series of haiku on a humorous theme. My Christmas prezzie for YOU! Subscribe to my blog (newsletter sign up on the right column or beneath this post) and never miss a haiku with your morning coffee or favorite cuppa! Merry Christmas!

You can enjoy more haiku on this page of my website or in my new book of poetry and haiku, As Good AS Gold:

a lovely poetry book that would be perfect for adults and younger children to share.” (5* Amazon Review)

a beautiful, uplifting and endearing read.” (5* Amazon Review)

As Good As Gold is also available in Large Print, colorful pictures, a dyslexia friendly edition: get it on Amazon UK, Amazon US, Amazon Canada, Amazon Australia, Amazon Espana, Amazon Deutschland.

Find all my book on Amazon. Enjoy!

Text and Haiku-San © Patricia Furstenberg.

I hope you enjoyed my haiku. Let me know your thoughts in comment below.

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Winter Magic, Kids Snow Stories, Christmas Cheer Books via @PatFurstenberg #giftidea, #kidslit #christmas #winter #snow

Christmas time and winter holidays are the perfect season to curl up with a mug of hot chocolate and marshmallows and a magical book.

Cuddle up with your child and travel together to a magical land where sweet dreams, good friends and snowy adventures!

Little Tail and the Snow: “Imaginative way of bringing nature to life. Makes you think of all those little precious things around us we take for granted every day. Lovely depictions.”

 

 

 

 

Little Tail Meets BlueHow much do you enjoy snow? THAT much? Then you’re just like Little Tail, the adventurous dog who went far and away looking for it. What else will he find in that snowed up, frosty forest?

 

 

 

The Blue Forest: “Excellent! I teach children to speak and read English! They love these books! They are fun and informative as well!”

“You simply have to read about this Winter Wonderland!”

 

 

 

Will Little Tail, the friendly dog with a red tuft at the end of his tail, have another chance to frolic in the snow with his friend? He will have to wait to find out. Daylight casts new shadows over the forest trees and things look different than they were during night time.

 

 

 

  Little Tail might be a small dog by size, but he’s a brave little dog. What else has he discovered up North? Friend or foe? He soon learns that it is better to listen when being spoken to – even if a tiny bird addresses you.

 

 

 

Little Tail has to make a choice and there is a risk that he will be chased out of his cozy burrow and in the heart of winter , if the old rhyme proves to be right. But if he doesn’t offer his help a stranger might perish!

I really enjoyed this book about Little Tail the dog. He is such a great character, who is very kind.
This is a wonderful book to teach children about helping others and friendship.

 

You can read all of these book and more in HAPPY FRIENDS, available in paperback, kindle and LARGE PRINT from Amazon:

“Enid Blyton style.

Happy Friends has everything you want in a children’s book! It will make your child laugh, smile, stoke their imagination and set them on the right track for sweet dreams!
As well as all this, the book shares valuable life lessons, traditional values, installs empathy, and positivity too!
It is a fun yet deep book which I believe every child should own!

All of these books and more are part of the “HAPPY FRIENDS” collection: “Patricia Furstenberg’s collection of twelve stories, Happy Friends, is a classic collection of stories to charm and to teach young readers the value of life and the value of good friends. Each of the twelve stories stands on its own, but each story interacts with the next as the plot thickens. The individual stories become Little Tail’s journey of discovery as he leaves his home and friends, only to discover that Snow might be interesting, but so are his friends back home.

For as “The Book of Life” says, and is often quoted in Happy Friends, “The time spent in the company of friends will, more than once, become part of our most cherished memories, staying with us for the rest of our lives.” Happy Friends is a treasure to be enjoyed and shared over and over again”(Reader’s Favorite Book Review)”

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