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Zimbabwe: Let Girls be Girls, Not Brides

By: Katja Iversen, CEO, Women Deliver and Yemurai Nyoni, Founder of the Rising Birds Project and Women Deliver Young Leader; Originally posted by AllAfrica

Tecla, a young Zimbabwean girl, was sold for a few cows by her father to help alleviate the family's poverty. She was raped by her husband, became pregnant and contracted HIV. Her baby died soon after birth. Tecla was only 12-years-old. At an age when she should have been in school learning and dreaming, Tecla became a child bride. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: A True Story of A Child Bride from New York

By: Tyler LePard; Catapult

This year, 14 million girls – some as young as eight years old – will be married against their will, often to men decades older than themselves. Some girls are so young that they hold on to their toys during the wedding ceremony. The recent death of an eight year old Yemeni girl on her wedding night from internal bleeding, after a forced marriage to a man five times her age has caused a global outcry and re-energized commitment to ending this horrific human rights abuse. Read more...

Media coverage of child marriage in Malaysia – Reflections

By: Nicole Helwig,  Malaysian Child Resource Institute; Originally posted by Girls Not Brides

Child marriage has been hitting the headlines in Malaysia. In 2010, for example, the cases of a 10 and an 11 year-old girl who had been married to men in their 40s made national news. More recently, rape charges were dropped when in May this year, a 13 year-old girl reportedly ‘agreed’ to marry her 40 year-old alleged aggressor.  The press reported that permission was granted for the marriage by an Islamic court, generating heated reactions. These cases do help to raise awareness that the practice of child marriage is a problem in Malaysia. After all, it is too often denied that child marriage is even an issue in this country. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Investing in Girls’ Futures

By: Kristin Lindsey, Chief Executive Officer, The Global Fund for Children

Women as a whole have made great strides towards equality, but the fact remains that too many girls in the developing world live in circumstances that are unfair at best, and dangerous at worst. Who are these vulnerable girls? They are child brides. Roughly one-third of all girls in developing nations are married before they turn 18, and in certain countries the number climbs even higher. What does the future hold for a child bride? A lifetime of illiteracy and a drastically increased risk of dying from complications during pregnancy or childbirth. Read more...

Early Marriage Robs Children of Their Opportunities

By: Graça Machel and Desmond Tutu; Originally posted on Washington Post

Graça Machel was the first education minister of Mozambique. Desmond Tutu is archbishop emeritus of Cape Town and a Nobel Peace Prize laureate. They are members of The Elders, a group of independent leaders working for peace and human rights.

“If adults know child marriage is wrong, why do they allow it to happen?” a teenage girl asked one of us during a visit this year to Bihar , a state in northeast India where, despite national law to the contrary, 69 percent of girls are married before age 18. Read more...

Ford Foundation Launches Child Marriage Map and Partner Index

The Ford Foundation, in partnership with the Girls Not Brides campaign, has recently shared their child marriage interactive map, and partner index of Girls Not Brides member organizations. The map is linked to the recent article from Time magazine titled, “Why Is It So Hard to Combat Child Marriage?

The website examines 30 countries with the highest rates of child marriage, and offers some alarming statistics: “Across the developing world, more than one-third of girls are married by age 18, and one in seven is married by age 15, with devastating effects on girls’ health, education, earning power and independence.” Read more...

Akshaya Tritiya: Hotbed of Child Marriages

By: Chaitra Arjunpuri; Originally posted on Al Jazeera

AlJazeera_AkshayaTritiya.jpgI am one of those unfortunate Hindu women whose hard lot is to suffer the unnameable miseries entailed by the custom of early marriage. This wicked practice of child marriage has destroyed the happiness of my life. It comes between me and the things which I prize above all others - study and mental cultivation. Without the least fault of mine, I am doomed to seclusion; every aspiration of mine to rise above my ignorant sisters is looked down upon with suspicion and is interpreted in the most uncharitable manner..."
- Extract from a letter written by a woman named Rukhmabai to The Times of India on June 26, 1885, reproduced in Child Marriage in India: Socio-legal and Human Rights Dimensions, by Jaya Sagade (Oxford University Press, 2005). Read more...

Strength in Unity: Girls Not Brides and the Global Partnership to End Child Marriage

By: Laura Dickinson, Communications Officer, Girls Not Brides; The Partnership to End Child Marriage is a winner of the Women Deliver 50

“Child brides are some of the world’s most isolated people. We are delighted that the work of Girls Not Brides and its members to give these girls a voice and to empower those vulnerable to child marriage has been recognised by Women Deliver,” said Marianna Brungs, Coordinator of Girls Not Brides, as the new global partnership to end child marriage was recognised as one of the “most inspiring ideas and solutions delivering for girls and women.” Read more...

“Women Deliver 50” Honors Bright Ideas and Big Solutions

By: Jessica Mack, Orginally posted on RH Reality Check 

International Women’s Day, March 8, is a harbinger of lists. Those lists are usually awesome and inspiring – hundreds of women who shake the world, deliver for girls and women, or are simply deemed “top in the world.” (Why these lists don’t come out more than once or twice a year is beyond me). But this year, sifting through International Women’s Day emails, events, and announcements, I was pleasantly surprised to see a different kind of list. Read more...

Celebrate Solutions: Delaying Marriage for Girls in India

By: Rati Bishnoi, Women Deliver

solutions-India.JPGDespite being outlawed for more than 100 years, nearly one-half (43 percent) of girls in India are married before the minimum legal marriage age of 18 years.

This is changing. But at a pace that’s too slow.

Child marriage is a gross violation of the rights of girls and boys. It denies the basic rights to health; nutrition; education; a life free of violence, abuse, and exploitation; and deprives children of their childhood. While child marriage affects boys as well, it impacts a greater proportion of girls and does so more severely. Read more...

Understanding the Girl Effect

By: Jill Sheffield, President of Women Deliver; Originally posted on the Impatient Optimist 

girl_effect_gates.jpgOn Friday, The Guardian’s Poverty Matters Blog posted an opinion piece by Dr. Ofra Koffman that questions the contributions that girls and young women can make to economies when they delay childbirth. Koffman argued that the so-called “Girl Effect” of delaying childbirth does not necessarily “stop poverty before it starts,” as the Department for International Development (DFID) claims.

However, the “Girl Effect” is about much more than adolescent fertility. It’s about the holistic approach to harnessing the power of girls and women—from literacy to the elimination of death in early childbirth to leadership opportunities—and how these factors come together to reduce global poverty. Read more...

Why a Daughter is Not an Apology

By: Joanna Hoffman, Special Projects Manager

AfghanStoning.jpgLast week, 22 year-old Storai Mohammed was strangled to death by her husband and mother-in-law for giving birth to a girl, and not the son they had demanded of her. Her husband fled, but his mother was detained and told police that Storai “felt guilty” for bearing three daughters and committed suicide. 

In Afghanistan, as in many parts of the world, newborn sons are celebrated while girls are met with disappointment, fewer opportunities and a stifling lack of autonomy. Read more...

UN Week- Style Over Substance

By: Denise Dunning, Founder and Executive Director, Let Girls Lead, Champions for Change, and the Youth Champions Iniative; Originally posted by Huffington Post

'Fashion week' just ended for the global development community, where thousands of international leaders convened in New York for the U.N. General Assembly (UNGA). Presidents, ministers, donors, U.N. leaders and CEOs celebrated the newest designs in global development: stylish poverty reduction plans, glamorous partnerships to end world hunger and beautiful spokespeople for the latest hot issues like climate change and child trafficking. Read more...

 

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