“My teacher made me pregnant when I was 16 years old. Our traditions meant that my family then threw me out and I had to live with my aunt.”
My siblings weren’t allowed to talk to me. I think we have to put a stop to these outdated customs that violate children’s rights. I don’t understand why it isn’t the boy who makes a girl pregnant that is disowned or punished by their family. Why is it only girls who suffer like this?
“I can’t go to school anymore, and my aunt is trying to force me to marry an older man. Aunty tricked me into going to his house. When she disappeared, he attacked me. I screamed. So he tied a handkerchief round my mouth and tied my hands with a rope. When my aunt returned, I cried and told her that he had raped me. Then she hit me and the man gave her money. It’s like I’m a thing to be sold. I’ll never be able to go back to school, but I’m going to make sure there’s no wedding.
“The government must work harder to stop forced marriage and rape.”
Ornela, 17, Burkina Faso