Every single day activists and civil society organisations working to end child marriage are striving towards our goal of a better future for girls.
While we are all working tirelessly to create an equal world for girls every day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an important moment for the movement to end child marriage as a form of violence against women and girls. It is an opportunity to come together, accelerate change, and demonstrate the power of our collective voices.
Our member organisations from around the world have been sharing their campaign commitments following the launch of Girls Not Brides’ global Power to Girls campaign. Together we are now kicking off the Power to Girls Ribbon Challenge, to celebrate the start of the 16 Days on 25 November 2021.
The ribbon can be used as a symbol of femininity that reinforces gender stereotypes for girls and women. The Power to Girls campaign reclaims the ribbon to turn it into a symbol of power and strength for girls.
Our member organisations around the world are sharing photos with a colourful ribbon tied to their wrist, hair, hand, or even to a tree or fence to amplify their Power to Girls commitments and urge decision makers to act now to end child marriage.
In Kenya, Straight Talk work with young people to improve knowledge of health and rights around sexuality and reproduction using media and communications methods like comic books, radio and TV shows, podcasts and newspapers.
Programs Officer, Martha Kombe, has taken the Ribbon Challenge and shared her Power to Girls commitment for the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism.
My Personal commitment to the campaign and beyond is to continuously fight for the freedom and right of girls in my country in order for them to fully reach their potential.
Godfrey Okumu works with grassroots organisation Tostan and is based in Nigeria. In support of the Power to Girls campaign, he committed to creating spaces “where girls and women build their confidence to speak out and feel free and safe.”
Working at the grassroots in West and East Africa, Tostan is a community-led organisation that focuses on sustainable development and positive social transformation. This includes working with communities to shift harmful social and gender norms like child marriage and female genital mutilation/cutting.
Godfrey also shared that through Tostan’s work, they create spaces where “everyone in the community feels appreciated and has the opportunity to participate in conversations that promote community well-being through dialogue and consensus building.”
Led by a group of young women across Latin America, Jóvenas Latidas is a campaign working for the rights of girls, adolescents, youth and women, with a particular focus on child, early and forced marriage and unions.
Sofia Quiroga is based in Argentina, and made her Power to Girls commitment on behalf of Jóvenas Latidas. She told us that “it's important to create conditions for girls to be on an equal standing so they can dream and develop their own lives free from violence, early marriages and unions.”
Our commitment is to work for girls, especially in more vulnerable positions, so they can have the tools to build their own lives, free from child, early and forced marriage unions. We need to listen to girls, not speak on their behalf.
Based in Mali, Girls Not Brides’ member organisation Action SUD are raising their voices for Power to Girls this 16 Days. Action SUD work across a broad range of issues such as health and education, including child marriage.
Lassina Traore shared his campaign commitment as well as taking the Ribbon Challenge and added his voice to our global call for action to end child marriage.
“I support Power to Girls by calling on my government to raise the legal age of marriage for girls to 18, because setting the legal age of marriage for girls at 16 is unfair and unequal.”
This campaign commitment supports Action SUD’s activities across the 16 Days, as they call on local and national decision makers to act to improve girls’ rights.
Together with our members, allies and supporters around the world, Girls Not Brides are committed to building a world in which girls have access to their rights, bodies and power.
By joining the Ribbon Challenge and sharing a campaign commitment with the hashtag #PowerToGirls, we can all tell decision makers, loud and clear, that the continuation of child marriage is not an option.
Take the Power to Girls Ribbon Challenge today, and raise your voice as part of a global movement to make sure girls can access their power and decide if, when and who they marry.
In the time it has taken to read this article 48 girls under the age of 18 have been married
Each year, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18
That is 23 girls every minute
Nearly 1 every 2 seconds