Meet 3 girls who refused child marriage

Reading Time: 3 minutes
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Did you know? The number of girls forced into early marriage every year would make up almost half the entire population of Canada.

Child marriage violates the rights of 15 million girls ever year – forcing them to lose out on their education, jeopardizing their health and safety, and depriving them of their childhood.

SEE ALSO: Girls and their right to a childhood

The good news is: the movement to end child marriage is growing! We can see it at the international level with the Global Goals for sustainable development, where international leaders have united in a long-term commitment to protect girls’ rights. And we can see it at the local level, where more and more girls around the world are gaining the knowledge, support and opportunities to advocate for change.

Meet 3 empowered girls standing up for their rights, and the rights of others, by boldly saying ‘no’ to child marriage!

Amrita, Nepal

A girl studying.

Determined to learn, Amrita refused to become a child bride.

In rural Nepal, child marriage is unfortunately a common tradition, with almost 50% of girls married before the age of 18. However, through Plan International’s Girl Power Project, girls are learning about the disadvantages of child marriage and how to speak out about it.

So, when 16-year-old Amrita’s parents approached her with a prospective groom, she refused.

“I won’t marry unless I am 20 under any circumstances,” declared Amrita. “I do not want to get married before completing my education.”

Her courage, and determination to stay in school, has inspired other girls and families in her community!

SEE ALSO: The growing movement to end child marriage

Nurul, Indonesia

A girl speaking into a mic.

Nurul’s speaking out to end child marriage and champion girls’ education.

There’s a belief in 18-year-old Nurul’s village in Indonesia that girls who don’t marry by the age of 15 are destined for a life of misery.

“I am determined to end this myth in our village,” shared Nurul. “In my village, too many girls have had to drop out of school to marry and they continue to be dependent on their parents, as they do not even know how to take care of their children, let alone be economically independent.”

To put a stop to child marriage, Nurul has launched her own campaign within her community. She attends local meetings and visits families to raise awareness about the issue. As a result, she has seen a decrease in girls dropping out of school to get married!

Arjina, Bangladesh

A girl smiling.

After boldly denying a marriage at 12, Arjina now raises awareness about the issue of child marriage in her community.

Growing up in poverty in rural Bangladesh, Arjina’s parents wanted to marry her off. However, Arjina had seen the negative impact of child marriage on the lives of other girls in her community and refused.

“I have never believed in getting married at an early age,” shared Arjina. “When I was 12, I was told by my parents to marry but I denied.”

Arjina is now a leader in her community, actively campaigning against child marriage and championing girls’ education!

SEE ALSO: How empowering girls and women can change the world!