Girls Not Brides members win big at the STARS foundation’s WITH and FOR girls awards

The Girls' Legacy, courtesy of the STARS Foundation

We are excited to announce that four Girls Not Brides members have been recognised by the STARS Foundation for their work to empower girls and end child marriage. They won the With And For Girls awards, which celebrate groups working to improve girls’ lives around the world. Winners receive up to $50,000 each to support their work.

Girls United for Human Rights, Pakistan

Hadiqa Bashir was seven years old when one of her friends was engaged to marry. Celebrations quickly gave way to a darker reality as Hadiqa’s friend began to show signs of physical violence. In Pakistan, 21% of girls marry before of 18.

Hadiqa went on to found Girls United for Human Rights, a girl-led organisation that works with schools to educate and empower girls to prevent child marriage and violence.

Girls United for Human Rights, courtesy of the STARS Foundation

Samburu Girls Foundation, Kenya

In the Samburu community of northern Kenya, marrying before the age of 15 is common. Five out of every seven girls are married before that age, sometimes as young as eight.

The Samburu Girls Foundation educates and offers shelter to vulnerable girls in rural areas. This girl-led foundation works with families and communities to help girls stay in school.

Samburu Girls Foundation, courtesy of the STARS Foundation

The Girls’ Legacy, Zimbabwe

Poverty affects many people in Zimbabwe, but girls are often hit the hardest. Traditional values put girls at risk of child marriage and gender-based violence. 33% of girls in Zimbabwe are married before 18.

The Girls’ Legacy builds girls and young women’s capacity though mentoring, leadership development and sexual health education. They also offer pregnancy care.

The Girls’ Legacy, courtesy of the STARS Foundation

Forum des Femmes Autochtones du Cameroun, Cameroon

In Cameroon, around 1 in 3 girls marry before the age of 18. Girls from the Mbororo community in Cameroon frequently experience child marriage.

The Forum des Femmes Autochtones du Cameroun (FFAC), or Cameroon Indigenous Women Forum, counsels survivors of gender-based violence and gives them temporary shelter, access to education and health facilities.

Forum des Femmes Autochtones du Cameroun, courtesy of the STARS Foundation

Feminist Approach to Technology, India

In India, many people believe that women and technology do not mix. Girls are often seen as inferior to boys. This encourages families to keep their sons in school, while girls are raised to be wives and mothers. 47% of girls in India are married before 18.

Feminist Approach to Technology tackles harmful gender stereotypes by training girls in technology, giving workshops on women’s rights, and supporting girls to enter male-dominated fields.

Feminist Approach to Technology, courtesy of the STARS Foundation

The With And For Girls Awards also recognised the work of three other organisations working to end child marriage.

Doveriye, Russia

­­­­­­In some communities in Russia, girls and women face domestic violence, forced and early marriage and honour killings. Doveriye, meaning trust, seeks to change this.

Through Doveriye, girls meet twice a week in a safe space, and take part in interactive workshops on human rights, leadership and career skills.

Doveriye, courtesy of the STARS Foundation

The National Federation of Women’s Communities of Kyrgyzstan, Kyrgyzstan

In Kyrgyzstan, around 12% of girls marry before 18. Around 12,000 women and girls experience “bride kidnapping” each year, and in rural areas as many as 80% of marriages happen through kidnapping.

A group of girls founded The Federation to address child marriage, bride kidnapping and gender-based violence. They lobby against harmful traditional practices in their communities, and teach girls the skills for a healthy, active and independent life.

The National Federation of Women’s Communities of Kyrgyzstan, courtesy of the STARS Foundation

Congratulations to all the winners. Keep up the great work!