Child Marriage

Children are meant to have Childhoods, not Weddings.

Education and Empowerment

Strong global efforts need to be taken to establish educational and empowerment programs for young girls in countries practicing child marriage, so that children can be kept in school and protected from exploitation.

CHANGE.

I do...or do I?

Marriage is an act between two individuals, a man and of woman, of a certain age who are united in a consensual relationship recognized by law. However, this is not always the case. Girls and boys are married off before they have even hit puberty, without a say in the matter. The marriage is thought to be the only way to end the cycle of poverty, although it is the main contributor to the continuous cycle. Female children are not as valued as a male children, and are seen as a burden on the family. The child is seen as just another mouth to feed, and just another body to clothe. With marriage, the burden can be ceased. If the child is married off, the parents don’t have to worry about feeding or clothing the child, and often receive a payment for their daughter. They also don’t have to worry about a threat on her pure virtue. If the girl is married off before puberty, then her virtue won’t be risked and the family won’t be disgraced.

CHANGE.

Breaking Tradition

hild marriage is against many laws and and violates numerous human rights, however it is still done in many countries in secret. Child marriage violates the basic law of marriage and Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights that states men and women of full age are entitled to equal rights of marriage, and that marriage should be entered into only with free and full consent of both parties( Universal Declaration of Human Rights). Most commonly, the two parties are not of full full age, and one of the parties is not in full consent. The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act of 2006 not only defined marriage under 18 as illegal in India, but also made significant changes to further protect the children from child marriage. India, however, still maintains one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world. Child marriage is a long standing tradition that many believe is just a part of life. They are completely uneducated on the horrific side effects and dangers that child marriage poses for young girls. They aren’t fully aware of the health conditions a marriage can impose on a young girl, whose body is not yet mature for relations or motherhood. These young girls are often forced to accept the advances of their much older husbands, and in turn double their risk of becoming infected with HIV Aids or other stds.

CHANGE.

Female Power

Child marriage doesn’t just hinder the childhood of a young girl child, but it also hinders the rights of women and children put into these situations. The children and women are denied basic education, and are seen as property. They are subjected to domestic violence, and rape. It is the young bride’s duty to take care of her husband and the household. “Child marriage is a global problem that cuts across countries, cultures, religions, and ethnicities. It denies girls their rights to health, to live in security, and to choose when and whom they marry. It cuts short girls’ education and traps them, their families, and their communities in a cycle of poverty” (Girls Not Brides). It is a global issue that requires global effort.



IGO'S Fight to End Child Marriage

UNICEF

Focusing on protecting the children of the world, and supporting them in their fight against exploitation..

Working Together

UNICEF and the World Health Organization have both taken initiative in the campaign of ending child marriage. They both are branches of the UN, and have taken large steps. The UN declared the 11th of October as the International Day of the Girl Child. “ The International Day of the Girl Child readily reflects the need to put girls’ rights at the centre of development” (UNICEF). With this, these government organizations are setting up a series of events and actions to empower the girl child, and to help her reach her full potential.


NGO'S Fight to End Child Marriage

Girls Not Brides

Working to empower girls all over the world, to help them reach their full potential, one girl at a time...

Coming Together for a Common Cause

Girls Not Brides and Save the Children are NGOS that are not only working toward empowering the girl child, but providing educational opportunities so that the girl child will stay in school and attain more from life. They work toward protecting the children from exploitation and helping them to reach their full potential. Girls Not Brides brings together non- governmental organizations from around the world to tackle the issue of child marriage (Girls Not Brides).These organizations also work to increase awareness and educate the world on what is occurring, and what individuals can do to take a stand and help bring an end. (Save the Children).

CHANGE.

Too Young To Wed..

The documentary, Too Young To Wed, was documented by American photographer, Stephanie Sinclair. Over the course of 8 years, Stephanie toured through all parts of the world in order to learn more about child marriage. Throughout the film, the viewers meet the girls who have been married, and the horrors they face daily. The central message is the emphasis of educational opportunities for girls, and how it allows girls to reach their full potential and live their childhood while they are still children. The films shows the aspect of different girls who were forced to marry as children. It shows the domestic violence they face and the harsh realities of young motherhood. Some of the young girls show with babies, are unaware of how childbirth works and are unable to comprehend all that follows. The documentary focuses on the dire importance of education and empowerment for girls, and the great impact it has proven to have.



Too Young to Wed: The Secret World of Child Brides

Child Marriage: South Sudan

The documentary, Child Marriage: South Sudan, focuses on the important role child marriage plays in Sudan, and how the locals see it. The documentary was made by the Humans Rights Watch , and appears to have been made within the past year (2012). The film was made to draw attention to the horrors of child marriage, and how it impacts the lives of the young girls. The central message that the video is trying to convey is ending the horrors of child marriage, in order to protect the children. When child marriage ends, then the girls will no longer face such health complications, domestic violence, young mother mortality, and rape. If there are more strict laws concerning the marriage age, and more trained police and law enforcement, then the law will be less likely to be violated, and girls will have a better chance of remaining in school and reaching their full potential. The documentary is filmed in South Sudan. It shows the people, and especially the young girls. The film interviews two young girls who were the victims of child marriage, and explains their story and the daily horrors that they were forced to face. The first young mother they interview is Helen, who was married at age fifteen and almost lost her life giving birth to her first child. She is seen frequently throughout the documentary. Liesl Gerntholtz, a director of women’s rights division of the Humans Rights Watch is frequently show, explaining the atrocities and what needs to be done in order to solve the problem. The film also interviews males in the region. The older male states that a woman is just property to be exchanged for a hefty dowry and good cows. At the end of the film, a younger male who runs a safe haven for the girls tells how it is hard and the government needs to put more focus on helping the young girls and helping them to receive an education so that they may remain out of the reach of child marriage. The documentary focuses on the daily horrors that these child brides must face. It discusses the domestic violence, and health complications that come along with young motherhood. It puts special emphasis on the importance of a young girl’s education, and how it will in turn wreak the cycle of poverty and protect more children.
Child Marriage: South Sudan