11 October is set to be a special day this year, recognised by the UN as the very first International Day of the Girl Child.
On Day of the Girl, Girls Not Brides and its members will bring attention to the plight of child brides and highlight the pressing need for international action to end child marriage.
You too can take part by supporting our member Girl Up’s letter writing campaign. Girl Up is encouraging all who want to see a world without child brides to write to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and ask her to make ending child marriage a priority.
In a recent speech, Secretary Clinton said ending child marriage is a “personal commitment” of hers and pledged US diplomatic and development support to end the practice.
These comments signal that now is an ideal moment to write to her and ask that the US government back these words with commitments and programmes to end child marriage.
Handwritten letters are one of the most effective ways to influence government officials and make an impact. Girl Up will be collecting letters from across the United States and delivering them personally to Secretary Clinton before the International Day of the Girl Child.
Now is your chance to make a difference! Write a letter! Host a letter writing party! Or spread the word!
All letters must be posted to the Girl Up offices by September 24, 2012. Post your letters to:
Girl Up c/o Julie Willig
1800 Massachusetts Ave.
Washington, DC 20036
Tips for writing to Hillary Clinton
- Introduce yourself—list your “credentials” (name, address) and be sure to mention by you feel strongly about helping adolescent girls around the world.
- Personalise it—Sending a personalised letter will generate more attention than a template letter. Be creative—officials want to hear your stories, not just facts and figures.
- Be consise—get to the point quickly! Letters should be no longer than 1 page in length.
- Ask for something—Be sure your letter clearly asks Secretary Clinton for political and financial support to end child marriage. For emphasis, restate this “ask” at the end of the letter.
- Be polite—manners go a long way and the letters should be passionate, but not pushy. Remember to thank Secretary Clinton for her leadership on women and girls’ issues.
Click here to read Girl Up’s Ask Secretary Clinton to Prioritise Child Marriage tool kit and sample letters.
Find out more about Girl Up’s work to unite girls to change the world.
In the time it has taken to read this article 25 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 3 seconds