Taking Action for Girls Worldwide
by Heena Sadhwani, age 16, from Tenafly, New Jersey
July 11, 2012
Ever since I was a young girl, I always knew I wanted to be a business woman. My dream was to study abroad in Europe and then work after graduation. It was my dream and I would work my hardest to see that it came true.
In fact, every girl in the world has some sort of dream or aspiration that they hope to achieve when they grow older. But for about 60 million girls worldwide, their dream can never come true because they are forced into child marriage that will forever change their lives. It is estimated that one in seven girls is forced into child marriage before the age of 15 which means that around 25,000 girls get married every day.
Twenty-five thousand dreams are destroyed daily! How many girls must suffer before the world realizes the injustice they face? It’s a vicious cycle that continues to grow annually and it is said that in the next 10 years around 100 million girls will be forced into marriage.
The reasons that girls are punished this way are several but they mostly include social norms or customs. For many in developing countries, getting married at a young age proves status in a family or community. They are young enough to start families quickly and become good wives to their husbands.
Another common reason is the fact that many see girls as a burden than a blessing. To save a family from spending money on the girl they have her sent off as quickly as possible. Families may also receive dowry from the groom’s side.
But these reasons cannot justify the anguish these girls must face. Is this worth ruining a girl’s life and changing everything she worked her whole life for? Child marriage can occur in two ways. These young girls may be forced to marry a young groom around the same age as them or to a man many years older than them. Can you imagine getting married at the age of 16 to a 40-year-old man? It’s not heard of in developed countries, but very common in underdeveloped nations.
These developing countries have no interest in making a change so now it’s time for us to make a change for them.
Don’t just be shocked to hear about this. It’s now time to stand up and take action for these girls that don’t have an option to make a change for themselves because every minute we waste is another girl’s life being ruined. You may think, how can I may a difference? I’m just one person. But every person that becomes involved and takes action is helping to make our voice stronger so we can be heard. Child marriage is an issue on the rise and if we can congregate, we have a chance to put an end to this punishment girls are facing. Because every person that joins is helping a girls dream come true!