Launching “We are Girls, Not Brides”, the anthem to end child marriage on Day of the African Child 2016

On Day of the African Child (16 June), Girls Not Brides is launching “We are Girls, Not Brides”, a music video about ending child marriage.

The story behind it? 17-year old Faith from Zambia wrote a song about child marriage and got her classmates to sing it with her. We loved it so much, we made it into a music video!

The girls who sing the song are from Lusaka Girls School and take part in a girls’ empowerment club run by Girls Not Brides member Continuity-Zambia Organization.

Watch it here:

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Tweet:

  • Let girls be #GirlsNotBrides! Listen to these school girls sing the 1st-ever anthem to #endchildmarriage: http://bit.ly/1UvsNpd #DAC2016
  • These girls from Zambia are speaking out to #endchildmarriage. Are you? Watch and share: http://bit.ly/1UvsNpd #DAC2016 #GirlsNotBrides
  • On Day of the African Child, sing ‘We are #GirlsNotBrides’ & call for #endchildmarriage across Africa! #DAC2016 http://bit.ly/1UvsNpd

Facebook:

  • Girls want to be girls, not brides! On Day of the African Child, a group of Zambian school girls sing about their right to say no to child marriage. Watch and share: http://bit.ly/1UvsNpd #DAC2016 #EndChildMarriage #GirlsNotBrides
  • “We are girls, NOT brides.” These girls from Zambia are speaking out against child marriage on Day of the African Child. Are you? Watch and share: http://bit.ly/1UvsNpd #DAC2016 #EndChildMarriage #GirlsNotBrides

About child marriage in Africa

Child marriage is a major issue across Africa. The longer we wait, the bigger the problem will become.

  • Africa is home to 16 of the 20 countries with the highest child marriage rates in the world. In sub-Saharan Africa, 40% of women were married as children.
  • If we do nothing, the number of child brides in Africa is expected to double by 2050.

Young people need to be at the heart of efforts to end child marriage in Africa.

  • With almost 200 million people aged 15-24, Africa has the youngest population in the world.
  • In many countries where child marriage is common, young people make up approximately half of the population. To achieve large scale results, we must involve young people!

If we work together, we can translate commitments into reality and accelerate progress to end child marriage.

  • Everyone has a role to play in ending child marriage: governments, development agencies, donors, civil society, youth, as well as girls themselves.
  • All governments should develop and implement well-resourced, comprehensive, cross-sectoral policies, programmes and plans to end child marriage and support married girls.
  • African countries should champion the issue of child marriage in regional fora, such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Eastern African Community (EAC), and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Now is our chance to make progress at an unprecedented scale. Let’s seize it!

  • A growing number of countries are developing or implementing national strategies, action plans or country-wide initiatives to address child marriage.
  • The African Union Campaign to End Child Marriage in Africa has been launched in over 12 countries, and more countries are due to launch the campaign in 2016 and 2017.
  • Target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals aims to end child, early and forced marriage by 2030.

If we accelerate progress, we could halve the prevalence of child marriage in Africa by 2050. What are we waiting for?

About child marriage in Zambia

  • 42% of girls are married before their 18th birthday in Zambia. 9% are married before the age of 15.
  • Child marriage in Zambia is driven by traditional practices and beliefs, the low social status assigned to women and girls, poverty and girls’ limited access to education.
  • In March 2016, the Government of Zambia adopted a five-year national strategy to end child marriage.
  • More information and statistics about child marriage in Zambia.
  • How is Continuity-Zambia organisation helping girls learn about their rights and say no to marriage? Read about their work.

About Day of the African Child 2016

The Day of the African Child has been celebrated every year on June 16 since 1991. It commemorates those who participated in the Soweto uprising of 1976, and raises awareness of the needs and rights of children across Africa.

More information here.