Adolescence and Reproductive Years
In Mali, children suffer from violence, exploitation and abuse.
The conflict in Mali has generated or exacerbated child protection problems such as family separation, psycho-social distress, violence, exploitation and abuse. In addition, there are serious violations of children's rights in conflict situations, particularly war explosive remnants, mutilation, recruitment and use of children by armed forces and groups, occupation of schools or hospitals, rape and other serious sexual violence, denial of humanitarian access, and the presence of war explosive remnants.
Moreover, there are still other problems in Mali. For example, the vast majority (89%) of women aged 15-49 years are subject to female genital mutilation. In addition, child labour concerns 36% of children aged 5 to 14 years (33% boys and 38% girls). Furthermore, early marriage affects 14% of women aged 15-49 years who were married before the age of 15, and 61% of women aged 20-49 years are married before the age of 18. Finally, child birth registration rate for children under five is 81%, and the rate is higher among boys than girls. Significant disparities exist between urban areas(92%) and rural areas(77%). (MICS 2010).
In comparison to many other African countries, HIV/AIDS is not so much a threat for young Malians. The prevalence rate is relatively low, about 0.75% for young people aged 15 to 24 years. However, young women are almost twice more vulnerable than young men. Young migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to infection. Knowledge of prevention measures is limited, and fertility rates are very high. Stigma and discrimination discourage young women from participating in prevention programmes on mother-child HIV transmission.
To protect themselves against HIV/AIDS and improve their welfare, women and girls should be able to take decisions concerning their own health. However, according to the 2006 Demographic Health Survey of Mali (DHS), only 10% of women felt they could refuse to have sex with their husbands and 72% said their husbands were responsible for decisions concerning their health. Eight women die each day from causes related to pregnancy; most of these deaths could be prevented if women were aware of the available services and could have more control over their own health.