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U.N. Week Announces "Girls Not Brides"

From left to right, the newly wed Kainat and Shahzed now 14 and 15 respectively sit together at their mother’s house. They were sold in marriage by their mother, Bakht Zameena, due to extreme poverty and insecurity in Shalbandi, Buner in Pakistan’s North West Front

Last month at the Social Good Summit, Archbishop Desmond Tutu announced Girls Not Brides, a new global partnership to end child marriage. This traditional practice is very harmful to young girls, often cutting their education short and leading to early pregnancy. Biddle asks the question, “Did you know that the leading cause of death for girls between ages 15 and 19 is child birth?” Sadly, although the practice of child marriage violates many human rights agreements, a blind eye is often turned. The notion that the issue is a family matter results in reluctance to intervene.

Tabby Biddle, a writer and reporter dedicated to the empowerment of women & girls recently published an article in the Huffington Post, The U.N. Week Announces “Girls Not Brides”, about the partnership.

“I think it’s pretty obvious that if girls get a chance, in the form of education, they can be much more than child bride slaves. In fact, each year a girl stays in school, it boosts her future income by 10 to 20 percent ” the article states. “And since girls and women are likely to invest 90 percent of their income in their families — as opposed to a man’s 30 to 40 percent — the education and empowerment of girls and women has an impact that ripples across a society,” says Jennifer Buffett, president and co-chair of the NoVo Foundation.

Girls Not Brides will work locally to empower girls and raise awareness about the harmful impact that child marriage has on young girls. Both nationally and internationally, the partnership will work to bring this issue to the attention of policymakers so that new and effective laws can be created to change the lives of these young girls. A Conversation About Child Brides includes additional resources if you are interested in learning more about child marriage.

Visit Girls Not Brides and learn more about how you can inspire change just by using your voice!

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