Girls, not Brides: A global agenda for ending child marriage.

Ending child marriage is a global agenda in which many international partners are working through using various programs and tools to make a significant, positive change. “Girls Not Brides” is one of the initiatives to end child marriage and invest in girls. It is  a global partnership of more than 700 civil society organisations from over 90 countries committed to ending child

The issue is global and it is not limited to particular culture or geographical area. In India, for example, communication skills are used to stop child marriage. Roshanara is a young girls of 15 and she would like to study but her parents proposed marriage because they said they wanted the money. It was a hard decision for a 15 year old child who does not have ability to raise her voice and anyone to contact for help. However, the interesting point is that Roshanara had learn communication skills from roomtoread, India, and was confident enough to convince her mother to cancel the marriage.

Ending child marriage is a global agenda in which many international partners are working through using various programs and tools to make a significant, positive change. “Girls Not Brides” is one of the initiatives to end child marriage and invest in girls. It is  a global partnership of more than 700 civil society organisations from over 90 countries committed to ending child marriage and enabling girls to fulfil their potential.”The issue is global and it is not limited to particular culture or geographical area. In India, for example, communication skills are used to stop child marriage. Roshanara is a young girls of 15 and she would like to study but her parents proposed marriage because they said they wanted the money. It was a hard decision for a 15 year old child who does not have ability to raise her voice and anyone to contact for help. However, the interesting point is that Roshanara had learn communication skills from roomtoread, India, and was confident enough to convince her mother to cancell the marriage.

The untold stories of child marriage are quite big. In Latin America only, nearly 1 in 5 girls are married off before the age of 18 and girls as young as 14 get married.” In countries like Guatemala, it’s nearly 1 in 3, and up until two years ago, girls as young as 14 there could marry. Aracely, aged 15, from Guatemala says, I was 11 years old when I quit school, that’s when we got married. He left me when I was 4 months pregnant. He said the child wasn’t his.”

We learn from these stories how critical new media is to end child marriage, to mind change and to eradicate all forms of violence against girls and women. Many international organizations are partnering in collaboration for ending these issues. Women Deliver, “a leading global advocate for the health, rights and wellbeing of girls and women,” brings together “diverse voices and interests to make a voice for “advocacy strategies, access to world influencers, participation on key coalitions and initiatives, and building the capacity of young people and civil society.”

Women Deliver have their own blog and they use various types of social media and media tools: opinion pieces, videos, podcasts, new research studies, and interviews. Their 2016 Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark from 16-19 May 2016, wasthe largest gathering on girls’ and women’s health, rights, and wellbeing in more than a decade, and one of the first major global conferences following the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”

It was attended by almost 6,000 people (including global leaders and other key policy makers) from 169 countries  including: 2,500 Organizations, 169 Countries, 1,200 Young People, 500 Journalists, Private sector representatives from multiple industries, UN Agencies and government representatives, including ministers and parliamentarians from over 50+ countries.

New media was highly used throughout the conference on continuous basis:  press releases, story telling, instagram, Facebook, twitter, live chats, etc. a message of their communication strategies in their website state, “Women Deliver’s communications strategies are aimed at reaching advocates and changemakers from all walks of life. We provide actionable information and compelling messaging to increase coverage around the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women”.

 

 

 

 

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3 Responses to Girls, not Brides: A global agenda for ending child marriage.

  1. Dalida says:

    This is such an important subject, although I agree with you that many women advocacy organizations (such as the one you mention “Women Deliver”) are important in conveying strong messages against child marriage and violence against women, I believe that the solution will have to go hand in hand with policy and law changes, as well as an active role by governments to invest in sustainable and long term education programs to help stop child marriages from happening. This of course poses many challenges in itself, however according to UNICEF’s report on Ending child marriage (https://www.unicef.org/media/files/Child_Marriage_Report_7_17_LR..pdf) the percentage of women married before the age of 18 is can go up to 50% in some rural areas and that child brides often have low education levels. I think it would be interesting to see a detailed study on the impact child marriage has on economic development in the developing countries. Thank you for an interesting blog post, I haven’t heard of Women Deliver before and spent good time reading on their website after reading your blog post.

  2. Sofia Møller says:

    A very strong and important post, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Hassan!

  3. Roberto Carrera says:

    Very important topic Hassan. I like all the data provided, it makes easier to realize the current context about child marriage. The video adds a different touch (a bit long but thank you for sharing!). I believe we could do much more when talking about this issues that seems to affect always “other countries”. We need more strict national policies both in the countries where child marriage is still happening, and in those free of that terrible practice but ready to forget about it when making business.

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