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Girls Not Brides
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The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage
The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage

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At the age of 13, Maria was told by her father that she was to marry a 70-year-old man who already had five wives. Maria pleaded but her father wouldn’t change his mind. Shortly after moving into her “husband”’s home, Maria ran away, walking hundreds of kilometres to find refuge at a shelter for girls.  

More than 1 in 2 girls in Burkina Faso are married before their 18th birthday. Shelters offer girls like Maria a space to be safe and rebuild their lives. 

Find out more: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/real-life/true-stories/go-to-your-husband-teenage-girls-forced-to-wed-in-burkina-faso/news-story/45a9abc028d17c56b7f006c8f93f70b8 
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Good news! Guatemala raises the age of marriage to 18 years old. So far, girls could marry as young as 14 and boys as young as 16.  

However, legal exceptions remain. 16-year-olds will be able to marry with their parents’ or a judge’s consent. 

According to UNICEF, 30% of girls in Guatemala are married before 18. 

More info in Spanish: http://www.laopinion.com/2015/11/05/guatemala-eleva-a-18-anos-la-edad-minima-para-casarse/ 

More in English: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/guatemalan-congress-ups-minimum-age-for-girls-to-marry-to-18/2015/11/05/8c7083cc-8410-11e5-8bd2-680fff868306_story.html 
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Why do girls marry early? In a new report, Plan International Asia speaks to communities in Pakistan, Indonesia and Bangladesh to find out why child marriage still happens.

Read: https://plan-international.org/news/2015-11-05-new-evidence-child-marriage-causes-and-solutions
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"Danedjo Hadidja was 15 when her family came to her with a plan. Rather than continuing on to the sixth grade and pursuing her dreams of becoming a doctor, she was going to get married in just under a week to a man three times her age.

Growing up in the village of Baoliwol in northern Cameroon, she had seen plenty of girls get married young. 73% of girls in northern Cameroon are married before the age of 18.

Saying no meant standing up to her parents and her entire community. No girl had ever refused to get married in Baoliwol before.

Now 31, Hadidja is the founder and president of a center that helps women and girls fight for their rights."

Read her story: http://www.refinery29.com/2015/11/96895/child-brides-escape-cameroon
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“Zalissa’s Choice” tells the story of 14-year-old Zalissa and how her teacher and father refused to let her be married off. The film is proof that by working together, communities can end child marriage.

"Zalissa's Choice" is up for a Golden Radiator awards, which rewards creative and engaging charity videos.

Vote for them here! http://bit.ly/1XOx7nk
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Young people are integral to ending child marriage. Here are 5 reasons why:

1) Young people are directly affected by child marriage (15 million girls are married off every year)
2) They can break the harmful generational cycle of child marriage
3) They can help us achieve results on a big scale
4) Young people bring creativity and credibility to the table
5) Involving youth is a proven approach to preventing child marriage

Find out how: http://www.girlsnotbrides.org/5-reasons-why-involving-youth-is-critical-to-ending-child-marriage/
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"At the age of 15, I wanted to play in the streets with other children but I was forced to marry a man who was double my age. Everybody other than me was happy." Safina, married at 14.

It is for girls like Safina that activists in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan, are taking a stand against child marriage and calling for stronger legislation.

Find out how: http://www.girlsnotbrides.org/taking-a-stand-by-sitting-down-ending-child-marriage-in-pakistan/
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Nimmu was married at 10. Now 15, she is expected to move into her in-laws’ house. But Nimmu knows what happens to girls then.

“[My sister] tells me there’s no life after marriage. She has no freedom. She has to do everything her in-laws say.”

The only thing keeping her from this life? A boarding school in Jodhpur where half of the students are brides.

Listen to her story: http://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/10/26/450580637/for-child-brides-pass-10th-grade-or-become-in-laws-servant-15girls
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Meet Neetu, India’s rising wrestling star.

Married when she was only 13, Neetu left her husband less than a week after their wedding. She was remarried almost immediately and was the mother of twins by time she turned 15.

But that didn’t crush Neetu’s spirit. Despite opposition from her family and the community, Neetu secretly trained to become what she’d always wanted to be: a wrestler.

Read her inspiring story: http://www.globalpost.com/…/meet-ronda-rousey-indias-child-…
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Child marriage affects boys too. 

“After class 10, my parents began pressuring me to get married. I wanted to study science but I wasn’t given the opportunity. My family got me married instead. I didn’t even know what marriage was about. But I just agreed to get married.” 

Mohan then had to forgo his studies and take up work to look after his new family. Listen to his story: https://youtu.be/bvXtIxPNSr4 via UNFPA India​
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