Thursday, 11 October 2012

International Day of the Girl

Since I have helped with the #shareniger awareness, I have been asked to help to highlight the plight of young girls in early arranged marriages.  World Vision have a campaign on the go entitled "International Day of the Girl" which is today, to try to bring this to more people's attention.

Amira_566-402
Amira - whose quote is below - picture from worldvision.org.uk

I was aware of arranged marriages, and had heard vague stories of young girls being spirited away from the UK on holiday and ending up married and living with their new in-laws in remote areas of India, for example.  But I hadn't given it a lot of thought.  Shame on me.

I should have done.  I have two daughters, aged 13 and 16 this year, and if they had been living in some of these countries, they could both have been sent away, married and had several babies each by now.  They would have lost their independence, their choices in life, and their opportunities to have careers.  It seems that these girls are being traded like commodities and not treated as real people with thoughts and minds of their own.  Thank goodness that people are waking up to this and setting up support groups to prevent it happening.

There are a number of things we can all do to help, and you should have a look at the World Vision website here: http://www.worldvision.org.uk/get-involved/international-day-of-the-girl/ and see if there is anything on their list of suggestions that you can do.  Even just blogging raises awareness, and that can be the start of something much bigger.

Reading through the material, I found quotes like these and they are heart-breaking:


“When my father told me I was going to be married off, I felt my life had been ruined. I visualized a life like that of my mother - marriage, lots of children. All dreams shattered.” Chaitali, 10 – Bangladesh
“I couldn’t believe my ears. I burst into loud cry and my eyes were filled with tears. I begged her kneeling down to cancel the marriage, but she said no.” Amira, 10 – Ethiopia. 


“It was not voluntary and I became very angry when I heard about. It was a sudden agony to me. I felt I would have no chance for education. My hope for development darkened.’’ Kassa, 14 – Ethiopia

"I was 17 years old at that time. I don't know if I had a choice or not. All I knew is that I had to obey my parents." Krishna, 24 - India
 ‘Early marriage is dangerous for a girl. I was thinking that if I got married at that age it was nothing but to choose the cave of death. Promita, 16 – Bangladesh.






1 comment:

blog said...

Thank you Morgan for adding your voice to help raise awareness of this important issue. In some cultures girls are traded as commodities, in others in what's seen as a protection measure. Sometimes out of sheer poverty. By addressing the underlying causes we can work to put a stop to it, starting today. Thank you!
Kayla, World Vision UK