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Child Brides

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After watching the film, you may wonder: What can be done about Child Marriage? How can I assist girls in vulnerable situations? Below are concrete steps you can take toward addressing Child Marriage and making a difference in the lives of children around the world.


Write to national and international leaders urge them to highlight the issue of Child Marriage
Things to remember:

- Use the correct title for the politician and world leader

- Check spelling and grammar

- At the end of the letter, thank the leader for their attention

- Collect additional signatures for your letter from classmates and community members
  • Choosing whom to approach:
    • Politicians in the United States can sponsor legislation to make Child Marriage a priority issue through the allocation of funding for research, development, and international programs.
    • President George W. Bush can make Child Marriage a priority issue in the international arena.
    • World Leaders can focus on Child Marriage by passing and enforcing international standards for child protection and safety.

  • Preparing the Letter in Three Paragraphs: Be clear and persuasive
    • Openings: State your objectives
      • Define Child Marriage (The Convention on the Rights of the Child defines children as individuals under the age of 18).
      • State your goal.
      • Outline the action you wish the leader or politician to take.
    • Presentation: Facts and figures for Child Marriage
      • Population Council estimates that 1/3 of girls living in the developing world (excluding China) were married before they turned 18.
      • The practice of child marriage jeopardizes the health of young women and their children; adolescents who give birth are twice as likely to die as their older counterparts.
      • The practice of Child Marriage poses negative impacts on girls, families, and communities: girls who marry young face critical health issues, higher rates of maternal mortality, social isolation and are denied access to education.
      • Describe some viable solutions.

  • Conclusion: Explain why political leadership is urgent and critical
    • Prediction: If present patterns continue, 100 million girls will be married as child brides in the coming decade.
      • Restate the action you wish the leader of politician to take.

  • Finding Addresses:
    • For your Representatives: http://www.house.gov
    • For your Senators: http://www.senate.gov
    • President George W. Bush, The White House, Washington, DC 20500
    • United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, The Honorable Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Headquarters, First Avenue at 46th Street, New York, NY 10017
    • UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman, UNICEF House, 3 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017
    • UNICEF United States Fund President Caryl M. Stern, National Headquarters, 333 East 38th Street, New York, NY 10016


Join Campaigns to Address Child Marriage

International Center for Research on Women: Child Marriage Advocacy Campaign


Join Efforts to Increase Education for All Girls

World Education: Using education as a strategy for transforming the lives of girls and women, World Education works in 40 countries in Africa, Asia and the United States.

Basic Education Coalition: Advocates for quality basic education around the world.

United Nations Girls' Education Initiative: Works to ensure that boys and girls will have equal access to all levels of education by 2015.


Start a Girls Learn International Chapter

Girls Learn International is a nonprofit service-learning initiative involving thousands of American students in the international effort for universal girls' education. GLI pairs chapters of American high school girls with partner classrooms in counties where girls have traditionally been denied education.

1. Start a Chapter:
  • GLI is a national organization with local Chapters in middle and high schools.
  • Form a group at your school to engage more deeply with issues affecting girls.
    Each Chapter is led by a facilitator who may be a teacher, college student or community member.
  • Girls Learn International will provide facilitator training and will furnish the Chapter. with the necessary materials to implement the GLI program.

2. Become an advocate for universal girls' education:
  • Learn more about human rights issues facing girls and the role of education.
  • Raise awareness in your schools and communities.
  • Foster global communication and cross-cultural understanding.

3. Pair with a "Partner Classroom", a school providing quality education to girls in a community where girls have traditionally been denied access to education:
  • GLI Chapters are matched with a Partner Classrooms in communities in over a dozen countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, Afghanistan, and Latin America.
  • Chapters engage in a Cultural Exchange Project with their Partner Classroom.
  • Chapters directly support their Partner Classroom through fundraising (100% of funds raised are transferred to Partner Classrooms).
  • To date, Girls Learn has raised over $45,000 to support their Partner Classrooms and universal girls' education.

4. Engage in educational and advocacy outreach projects on behalf of universal girls' education
  • GLI Chapters publish articles, send letters, appear on radio and television, and meet with national and international leaders to lobby on behalf of universal girls' education.
  • GLI Chapters participate in letter-writing and petition campaigns on behalf of human rights issues facing girls.
  • GLI Chapters attend workshops film screenings, international meetings, and a yearly Chapter Summit.
  • Through the LeadHer Education Series, GLI Chapters will have the unique opportunity to connect with prominent leaders in the human rights field, as a well as professionals in a variety of careers working to advance girls' education.
  • GLI Chapter Leaders serve on the Junior Board to coordinate activities, fundraisers, and joint events for the Chapter network.

5. To learn more about starting a Chapter at your school, please contact Emily Bent, Program Director at Emily@girlslearn.org or visit www.girlslearn.org


Special Action Kit for Young Women and Teenagers (pdf)