Over the last ten years we have made much progress as a global movement to end child marriage, but to reach our goal much more needs to happen. The Power to Girls virtual festival was an opportunity to raise our voices as a global community. This was our moment to come together under the campaign launch to share, learn and mobilise our powerful movement.
This full day of events was an opportunity to engage with the movement to end child marriage, learn how to set up your own national campaign action, and join different sessions to discuss solutions to child marriage.
The festival was open to all, from activists, to civil society, to governments. It took place on the 30th September, was hosted on Zoom, and there was simultaneous interpretation to English, French, Spanish, and Hindi.
Here's an overview of the sessions (for more details and to access the recordings of each session please see below):
- How to run your Power to Girls campaign
- Power to Girls: Solutions to end child marriage
Activism is an everyday thing: how youth activists are addressing child marriage
Creative workshop: Using arts for campaigning
- Working together across sectors: The key to ending child marriage
Programme of sessions
How to run your Power to Girls campaign
Thursday 30th September, 10.30 - 11.30am UK / 12.30 - 1.30pm Kenya / 3 - 4pm India
A session aimed at Girls Not Brides’ national partnerships, member organisations, civil society organisations, activists and allies who want to launch their own national campaigns to end child marriage.
The Power to Girls campaign invites and inspires national and local -level action on child marriage, because we recognise that applying pressure is key for global decision makers to take action.
In conversation with our experienced members and team, this workshop ran through tips, tools and best practice on how to run a Power to Girls campaign action. From identifying your target to promoting your initiative online, this was an expert-led workshop to plan for successful national advocacy.
The speakers for this workshop were:
- Jonas Kindafodji, RICMAO ASSO, Benin
- Hope Nankunda, Raising Teenagers Uganda and Girls Not Brides Uganda
- Pooja Rajiv, Srijan Foundation and Girls Not Brides Jharkhand, India
- Zoe Birchall, Senior Policy & Advocacy Officer at Girls Not Brides
- Miranda Dobson, Senior Digital Officer at Girls Not Brides
- Divya Mukand, Moderator and Senior Officer for Asia at Girls Not Brides
Activists need self-care too: stretch and relax session
Thursday 30th September, 11.30 - 11.50pm UK / 1.30 - 1.50pm Kenya / 4 - 4.20pm India / 5.30 - 5.50am Mexico
For many activists passionate about girls' rights and working tirelessly to end child marriage, their own self-care and wellbeing often come last. Our work is important, but so is rest - you can't pour from an empty cup. So light a candle, brew a cup of tea and give your nervous system and body a well-deserved break. Join us for a 20-minute stretch and relax session to tune into your breath and enjoy a few simple stretches from the comfort of your chair to start your next meeting with a difference.
Power to Girls: Solutions to end child marriage
Thursday 30th September, 1 - 2pm UK / 3 - 4pm Kenya / 5.30 - 6.30pm India / 7 - 8am Mexico
The last decade has been a time of great success, both for the Girls Not Brides global Partnership and for the broader movement to end child marriage. However, with 12 million more girls marrying each year – and even more at risk due to COVID-19 – our work is far from done.
We now know that for the movement to end child marriage to be effective we need more and better targeted funding, political will and collective action that delivers on our goal. We must put girls at the centre, transform social norms, focus on scale and support civil society movements to drive change at all levels.
In this session we discussed the different solutions we need to drive change over the next decade, and explored how the Power To Girls campaign can help us amplify these messages.
In this session, chaired by Girls Not Brides’ CEO Dr. Faith Mwangi-Powell we heard from our expert panellists about the scalable solutions and systems needed to achieve gender equality and end child marriage.
The speakers for this session were:
- Afia Precious Simpande, Athena Network, Zambia
- Dhirendra Pratap Singh, Milaan Foundation, India
- Sofía Quiroga, Jóvenas Latidas, Argentina
- Dr. Nicola Jones, GAGE, ODI, United Kingdom
- Petrider Paul, Tanzania End Child Marriage Coalition, Tanzania
- Annika Lysen, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Sweden
The session was closed with a performance by spoken-word artist Dorphanage, and closing remarks by Dr. Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, African Union Child Marriage Goodwill Ambassador and Founder and Chief Executive of Rozaria Memorial Trust
Activism is an everyday thing: how youth activists are addressing child marriage - from the collective to the personal
Thursday 30th September, 2.30 - 3.15pm UK / 4.30 - 5.15pm Kenya / 7 - 7.45pm India / 8.30 - 9.15am Mexico
Our day continued with a fireside discussion between Angana Prasad from Project KHEL and inspiring youth activists who are making big strides for girls' rights in their communities and countries. Girls and adolescents are often unacknowledged as key agents of change in policy and legislation on gender and education, and we want to change that. During this session, we heard about youth activists' work and expertise on the solutions to ending child marriage. We explored how we can each take action to end child marriage - from the smallest of personal changes to the larger-scale collective ones.
The speakers for this session were:
- Karla Rax, Na’leb’ak, Guatemala
- Hadiqa Bashir, Girls United for Human Rights, Pakistan
- Muhubo Idle, Girl Concern, Kenya
Creative workshop: Using arts for campaigning
Thursday 30th September, 3.30 - 4.30pm UK / 5.30 - 6.30pm Kenya / 8 - 9pm India / 9.30 - 10.30am Mexico
This was an open session aimed at anyone interested in using creative arts to campaign.
In this session we celebrated the potential of using creative arts for self-expression as well as driving change on child marriage in an interactive workshop for all to take part in. Participants were guided through a series of fun art activities including crafts and creative writing, to support their Power to Girls campaign action as well as get to hear the experience of organisations using creative arts for advocacy and awareness raising.
Esta sesión contó con la participación de:
- Carolyn Seaman, Founder & Creative Director, Girls Voices Initiative, Nigeria
- Angana Prasad, Project KHEL, India
- John Waiganjo, Storyteller and Independent Consultant, Kenya
- Margit Mulder, Shape History, UK
Working together across sectors - the key to ending child marriage
Thursday 30th September, 5 - 6pm UK / 7 - 8pm Kenya / 9.30 - 10.30pm India / 11am - 12pm Mexico
Child marriage cuts across many different sectors including health, education and humanitarian response. We need a range of actors across multiple sectors to act as allies in the movement to end child marriage. In this session, we asked: How would joining up the response help or hinder efforts to end child marriage? And how can the humanitarian, education and health sectors effectively collaborate to ensure success? How we can work together at the global, regional and local level to achieve our shared development goals?
Our closing panel explored different views and solutions to these questions and invited panellists to consider the need for a more joined up, structural response to ending child marriage. We finished the day with a strong call to action to make Power To Girls commitment, and ensure this is the last generation to go through child marriage.
The panellists for this session were:
- Victoria Egbetayo, Global Partnership for Education, spoke to importance of the education sector
- Kristen Hope, Terre des Hommes, spoke to the importance of humanitarian sector
- Venkatraman Chandra-Mouli, World Health Organization, spoke to the importance of the health sector
- Dr. Patricia Estela Uribe Zuñiga (INMUJERES), Mexican Government, spoke to multisectoral coordination
- Mare Advertencia Lirika, Mexican indigenous rapper, gave a performance