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 Full text 
Monday, 2 July 2018 - Strasbourg Revised edition

Towards an EU external strategy against early and forced marriages (debate)

  Nosheena Mobarik, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Madam President, despite considerable progress in advancing gender equality around the world, including through landmark agreements such as the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, women around the world are still vulnerable to all kinds of abuse, and in too many places their human rights are completely disregarded.

It is cultural norms and practices which allow this. Child early and forced marriage is a cultural, not a religious, practice, and while strict legal enforcement and education may eventually bring about a changed mindset, it will be a slow, gradual progression before we are rid of these practices. And despite there being many international and legal instruments already available to governments to fight these malpractices, we have a long way to go to eliminate child early and forced marriage. Our efforts must continue and be accelerated. I therefore fully support the recommendations made by MEP Goerens in his report.

Much consideration was given to demands for a minimum age of marriage. I accept that in some Member States you can marry at 16 with parental consent. However, I believe it is right we consider a higher age so that vulnerable young people, particularly girls, are sufficiently mature and are able to stand up for their rights and resist social pressure.

The ECR is committed to gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls through different means, focusing on achieving protection for women and girls from physical and sexual violence, as well as giving them opportunities in education, employment and in society in general.

Last updated: 28 September 2018Legal notice