Girls Not Brides.
A girl with a dream is fire
I have always thought that the term childhood marriage is a cruel oxymoron to hide a sick form of pedophilia. According to Girls Not Brides, 15 million girls are married before the age of 18: 28 girls every minute. One girl under the age of 18 gets married every two seconds. The health and socio-economic consequences for the girls and society are beyond words, especially when you consider that under-age marriage for girls is actually legal in certain countries. It was very heart-warming this week to learn about two women who are fighting to put an end to childhood marriage.
In Malawi, over the past three years, Theresa Kachindamoto, a tribal chief, has broken up 850 childhood marriages and banned abusive practices which involve sending young girls to sexual initiation camps.
In Tanzania, Rebeca Gyumi, a lawyer who works as a TV/radio presenter at Femina – an organization focused on behavior change and strategic communication – has lobbied the government to change the legislation on childhood marriage and also saved a number of young girls from early marriage.
Working towards ending early marriage for girls can only lead to greater things for countries which strive to do so.