This report by Amnesty International, Coerced and denied: Forced marriages and barriers to contraception in Burkina Faso, exposes how many women and girls are threatened or beaten when they try to make their own decisions about when to marry or have children.
Amnesty International researchers interviewed 379 women and girls in 2014 and 2015, documenting the multiple barriers that prevent them from accessing contraceptive health services. They spoke to 35 victims of early and forced marriage who managed to escape. Under Burkina Faso law, girls should be aged 17 or older before they marry, yet more than half of girls (51.3%) aged 15-17 are already married in the Sahel region in the north of the country.
The background of this report is the Amnesty International's launch of the global My Body My Rights campaign in Burkina Faso in July 2015, seeking to raise awareness about barriers women and girls face. The organization published a human rights manifesto signed by the current President, who committed to taking a tougher stance on forced and early marriage.