here keeping their reputation in the community, and a way of preventing her to engage in repeat behavior." />
View research View latest news Sign up for updates. This article reports fieldwork carried out in with the aim of investigating the attitudes and reported behavior of young Congolese men and women concerning sexual relationships, including forced marriage.
A sample of 56 boys and girls aged 16—20 from two urban and two rural high schools in South Kivu province took part in focus groups and 40 of them were subsequently interviewed individually. If their daughter becomes pregnant, most parents would force their daughter to marry the genitor.
Forced marriage of girls is generally practiced in Africa Hampton , and is also common in Asia where it is practiced in the form of abduction or kidnapping marriage Kleinbach et al. While in the past the practice has mostly served a cultural aim in Africa, the context of the present economic depression has led to an increase in forced child marriages for financial gain.
Many parents desperately want to gain an income from the fact that they have daughters. The consequences of forced marriage for its victims and their communities are painful, yet African countries generally do little to address the matter. In some societies, the obligation to perpetuate ancestral traditions compels members to maintain practices that are regarded as harmful to young girls.
Poverty is a significant contributing factor to the high number of teenager marriages in Africa and is also seen as a common reason that influences parents to encourage a teenager to marry, often against her will. Sometimes daughters are used as a currency to pay debts or obtain goods. They are seen as mere objects in these cases. The monetary value of bride price is used to purchase a bride, her labour and fertility.
In extreme poverty, the practice of paying the bride price encourages parents to let their daughters get married at a very early age CEDAW ; International Humanist and Ethical Union ; World Vision , may result in the end of her education that could offer her a better chance of escaping poverty and illiteracy Annan-Yao ; CEDAW ; Conrad Girls are thus an economic or productive factor with which their parents may acquire greater wealth and reduce their financial problems. Girls are victims of unwanted pregnancy, because access to pregnancy contraception is unavailable or limited in many places De Bruyn Research shows that in the DRC the issue of contraception is still contested, and contraceptives not easily accessed Kayembe et al.
Refugee Council confirms that contraception is not often used in the DRC, particularly in rural areas, and some church leaders are opposed to it because they believe that it will encourage immorality. The evidence has also revealed that rape is the major way that increases the risks of undesirable pregnancies. Therefore, the risks of undesirable pregnancy and unsafe abortion are very high Human Rights Watch Amnesty International argues that nearly one in two women in the DRC are married before reaching 18 and in 1 in 10 are married before they reach MICS estimates However, the maternal mortality ratio per , live births is The Demographic and Health Survey results show deteriorations in family planning and reproductive health, especially in maternal mortality has increased to deaths per , live births compared to deaths per , live births in the report DHS Additionally, Tonheim remarks that the fact that most of the children are born out of rape and forced marriages further contests the traditional way of thinking.
South Kivu is a patriarchal society where the child belongs to the family of the father, and it is therefore regarded as a mark of disgraced for a child to have an unknown and absent father.
In a paternalistic culture it is expected that the upbringing of a child is taken care of by the father and his family. It concerns civilians or parents forcing young people to marry without consent. In this paper, we are reporting the views of boys and girls and their opinions about the attitudes and likely behaviour of parents. In fact, participants in this study reported that pregnant young women eventually are stigmatized when the genitor denies the pregnancy, this situation worsens if the pregnancy resulted from rape, exposes her and her child to stigma and rejection.
Studies in the DRC suggest that the sense of shame seemed to be intensified in the Congolese young women who become pregnant due to the rape. She is also mistreated and rejected by communities Mukwege and Nangini ; Oxfam ; Tonheim They deny their fatherhood when they are forced to marry a girl, and their vital projects are others. Among other things, it shows that the dynamics of what happens between a girl and a boy have far reaching consequences. This corroborates with the study conducted in South Africa by Jewkes et al.
Additionally, the findings from this study highlight that some mothers because of poverty encourage their daughters to engage in sexual transaction as survival strategy to supply food at home.
This influences girls to sleep outside their homes with men. This concurs with the study conducted in Tanzania by Wamoyi et al. Human Rights Watch and Maclin et al. Parents rely on their daughters for income. On the other hand, the focus on girls as victims was important in order for feminist researchers to draw attention to the magnitude of the problem Cleaver This one-sided focus affects the literature on the descriptions of both women and men to be not well elaborated.
Baker and Jaffe argue that focusing only on women is counter-productive in levels of gender violence critically require male behaviour change. Our understanding of the problem in the current study would profit by according attention to both partners in the relationships. This study therefore examines the experiences of both girls and boys in relationships, and also investigates how each of the individuals constructs stories about forced marriage and sexual relationships in relation to the other partner. However, literature on forced marriage is not easily available in the DRC Bunting This is the first such study.
However, no studies exist on forced marriage in these contexts. The current paper is particularly concerned with girls and boys being forced into marriage, and investigates their attitudes and reported behavior concerning forced marriage due to the above mentioned conditions. Due to the limited nature of previous research on this topic in the DRC, we opted for a more exploratory approach aimed at uncovering the broad range of motivations that influence forced marriage in South Kivu province, and the understanding of the experience of both young boys and girls who undergo such a practice.
Do you think it is acceptable for parents to force their daughter to marry a boy who impregnated her or slept with her? What do you think of such a practice? If a girl spends the night with a boy, her family forces her to marry her boyfriend. The present study has employed the social norms approach as theories to reduce violence against women.
The social norms approach presents a theory for understanding conduct and attitudes that have substantial implications for health promotion. The social norms theory maintains that our behavior is influenced by inappropriate perceptions of how other members of our social groups think and act. The theory envisages that overestimations of unpleasant behaviors will likely increase them while underestimations of healthy behaviors will discourage individuals from engaging in them Berkowitz ; Elster ; Marcus and Harper Social norms are encouraged through gendered power inequalities.
The country is characterized by a significant cultural and linguistic diversity, and comprises more than ethnic groups. In fact, the fieldwork was carried out at Bukavu and Kavumu, where the four secondary schools for our data collection are located.
Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu province, is overcrowded with people who have moved from elsewhere seeking greater security. As of its population was about , Given the widespread destruction and deterioration of basic infrastructure throughout the province, people in Kavumu have difficulty of accessing basic social services such as education, sanitary drinking water, and primary health care. Such services are somewhat better in towns, but are limited in both quantity and quality.
Most of houses are built with flat timber and others with mud and timber. Both schools, in Kavumu, are built with flat timber, and have crude pit toilets enclosed by wooden boards. In terms of sampling, the four schools were chosen for reasons of convenience but are broadly typical of high schools in the province. All participants were volunteers, and did not receive any incentive.
A qualitative research methodology was employed to investigate the attitudes and reported behavior of young Congolese men and women concerning sexual relationships, including forced marriage. Focus groups and individual interviews were conducted with boys and girls separately with matched gender facilitators. The researcher conducted focus groups and individual interviews among male participants while a female teacher moderated female single-sex focus groups and individual interviews.
He also transcribed the verbatim audios data from the tape recorder from Swahili to English for later analysis. Eight focus groups were conducted with South Kivu young men and women, in single-sex groups of men and women, with a total of 56 participants—28 girls and 28 boys.
One single-sex focus group per each school comprised seven girls, and another seven boys. The individual interviews were conducted with 40 volunteers 20 boys and 20 girls from the 56 focus-group participants. Data from focus groups and individual interviews was analysed by using thematic analysis to identify emerged themes.
That is, by an intensive reading of the focus-group and interview transcripts, we sought to identify the opinions and attitudes expressed by the participants. Vicsek suggests in thematic analysis to often cite not only isolated manifestations but also a fragment of discussion containing several contributions.
We took careful action in order to prevent this from happening by having two people to carry out the focus groups and interviews matched gender moderators , and two other people to help with the recording and scribing, and by presenting direct quotations as supporting evidence. In the process of preparing the article, we had a number of discussions concerning the beliefs and attitudes that emerged under each theme.
The themes we identified arose largely from the questions asked during the focus groups and individual interviews, which, in turn, arose from our research objectives. The views expressed during focus groups and individual interviews were very similar among both rural and urban respondents, and both gender, which may give a particular aspect of the common Bashi culture and a similar degree of challenges facing young people.
The study was carried out as part of my doctoral study. The nature of the research was explained to learners and it was made clear that their contribution was entirely voluntary; in the event, there were no refusals and participants were very engaged during the focus groups and interviews. Parental permission was obtained for participants under the age of Confidentiality and anonymity were strictly respected in both our research approach and the execution of the study.
Participants were assured that their identities will be protected. The result produced by spending the night with a man and becoming pregnant out of wedlock may also result in different reaction in other places. The relevant Swahili term is kulala inje. It is worth noting that in Bashi culture, girls do not have boyfriends if the relationship does not have real prospects of marriage; probably because of the consequences of having sex or pregnancy.
Two cows are general provided for the bride price. There are two circumstances which may cause parents to force their daughter to marry:.
Findings are categorized under four main headings which are namely: Sleeping outside means she already is married, parental behaviour, long term consequences of forced marriage, and strong suggestion of the need for parents to investigate the case in order to make a good decision.
It means that if she sleeps outside, she is no longer a girl but she is now considered as a married woman. She has become a nkwale [a quail]. Paul, urban boy, aged Traditional Bashi tradition, according to this response, is to force girls into marriage if they spend the night with their boyfriends. Such a girl is no longer considered as a girl but is now a married woman. Therefore, her parents must bring her back where she spent her night and force her to marry that boy.