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The statistics of juvenile marriages in Macedonia showed astonishing data. Research of the Institute for Communication Studies from Skopje in cooperation with NGO H.E.R.A. found that 26 girls aged 15 years in 2016 became mothers, and the number of minors who were only one year older than them is staggeringly higher. Even 113 girls aged 16 became mothers.
In the same month when Senija celebrated her 15th birthday, and her boyfriend Mediak, the 17th birthday, daughter Mina was born.
They fell in love when Senijia was just 9 years old.
- We loved each other very much. Parents allowed us to be in a relationship and to make love, although I didn't know that I could have a child that way. Nobody told me - the underage mother confesses.
Senija is literate. She went to school until the seventh grade. She didn't speak about puberty and reproductive health with her parents, nor she could learn about that in school, which she left. She learned about sex from her boyfriend, who is also underage.
Only when she was sick and when she started vomiting did her mother suspect that her daughter was pregnant. She gave money to her boyfriend Medijak to buy a pregnancy test, and it was positive.
Forty-seven-year-old mother in law is happy that she became a grandma and for having a granddaughter which has her name, Mina.
Young parents aren't married yet since Senija doesn't have a birth certificate. They live from gathering and selling plastic bottles.
The civil sector seeks to introduce sex education as a special subject in elementary schools. In the meantime, NGOs, with the support of the Ministry of Education and Science, organize lectures held by gynecologists and social workers.
Non-governmental organization H.E.R.A. proposes a legal restriction which restricts persons under the age of 18 of being able to marry but also to provide education to young people before entering into sexual relations and measures to reduce poverty.
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