On 5 April 2022, Girls Not Brides member organisations and supporters from across the movement to end child marriage came together in an exciting hybrid online/offline event to celebrate the fantastic achievements of the Power to Girls campaign so far.
The "Power to Girls Next Steps" event featured a passionate and informative panel discussion on who can take action to end child marriage, and how civil society, young people, and decision makers can make a difference to girls’ lives.
Today we are here to continue celebrating the commitments made and unleash our collective power.Dr Faith Mwangi-Powell, CEO of Girls Not Brides
We were joined by advocates, government representatives and allies from around the world, as Girls Not Brides hosted activists and supporters at an in-person event in London, UK.
The panel of experts included the Netherlands’ Youth Ambassador for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, Gender Equality and Bodily Autonomy, Laura Bas. We were also joined by Godfrey Okumu and Qamar Naseem of Girls Not Brides’ member organisations Tostan, in Senegal and Blue Veins in Pakistan, respectively. Diputada Johanna Ortiz, Member of Parliament in Ecuador also joined the panellists, who each made an important personal commitment to the Power to Girls campaign.
Speakers joining us from Girls Not Brides member organisations and National Partnerships included: Womba Wanki of Girls Not Brides Zambia National Partnership; Gabriela Muñoz from Jóvenas Latidas in Guatemala; and Natalie Robi Tingo from Girls Not Brides Kenya National Partnership, who joined the event in person.
A colourful "Wall of Ribbons" was the rainbow-coloured centrepiece of the event on 5 April. The ribbon wall represented the hundreds of commitments that have been gathered so far by Girls Not Brides members and supporters who have been raising awareness and carrying out campaign actions with girls, young people, parents, journalists, religious leaders, politicians and civil society partners.
During the event, the "Wall of Ribbons" grew further as we heard from guest speakers and allies online and in-person who made their own campaign commitments which were added to the colourful wall.
The "Power to Girls Next Steps" event marks an important juncture in the campaign. Changemakers from over 48 countries have made more than 500 commitments to end child marriage, and as a Partnership we’ve garnered an incredible 10,000 pledges from the campaigning of Girls Not Brides member organisation, Pratigya, in India.
As we move into the next stage of the campaign, we will hold individuals and organisations who have made commitments to end child marriage to account. This is a vital stage of the Power to Girls campaign, to ensure that urgent, tangible commitments that have been made are followed up, and actioned.
Girls Not Brides member organisations in Ecuador, India, Mozambique, Liberia, Mali, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal and Zambia are running Power to Girls campaigns at the national level, working in innovative ways to advance an end to child marriage and girls’ access to their rights and power. To keep up-to-date with the work they are leading, sign up to receive our supporter email and follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
In the time it has taken to read this article 32 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