LET'S PROTECT OUR GIRLS
March/April has seen spring awakening from its slumber for which many of us are grateful. For many other people it has brought their worst nightmares to life. More than 200 girls abducted from a boarding school in Nigeria by a group of people thought to be part of Boko Haram have been missing and not yet found. There have been reports that they may have been sold as child brides to militants. Understandably, there has been an outcry, but not enough. Our collective actions however small and seemingly insignificant can go much further than our complaining. Action: Sign Petition at Change.org
In similar news Iraq may be changing the law to allow girls to be married off when they are as young as 9 years old. Once again, this gives no consideration to the girl child's humanity or potential to be a citizen with free agency. Read more at www.guardian.com
The theme of child marriage seems to be one of the current barriers to girls well being and education. According to UNFPA, Zimbabwe has one of the highest child marriage levels in the world. I was somewhat surprised by this and more critical research will be needed. In Zimbabwe, ''child marriage occurs more frequently among girls who are the least educated, poorest and living in rural areas.'' Although it is not as big a problem in Zimbabwe as it is in Nigeria where FGM is also a huge issue, it happens indirectly as a way to solve economic deprivation in some rural communities. Our travel to Zimbabwe will now take place in August and we can hardly wait to start working to empower girls in disadvantaged communities. This is what we should do, stand collectively together to support girls not stifle their voices and take ownership of their bodies. Please share any stories of how you are empowering girls you come into contact with daily. We find those stories inspiring. Share and Win a T-shirt. Email Us
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Organisations against child marriage. Girls Not Brides. UNFPA
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