Opinion Pieces Address Ending Child Marriage, FGM
The following opinion pieces discuss the Girl Summit taking place this week in London.
The Guardian: As long as it exists, child marriage will stand in the way of gender equality
Heather Hamilton, global coordinator of Girls Not Brides
“…The Girl Summit is an opportunity for governments to make commitments that will enable this change to come about, from committing to establish and enforce laws that set 18 as a minimum age of marriage to pledging long-term funding and programs that make a difference in the life of girls. … Child marriage has hindered progress on six of the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) — poverty, education, gender equality, maternal and child health, and HIV/AIDS. When the summit ends, we hope governments will take this information into discussions on what will replace the MDGs when they expire next year, and make sure that ending child marriage is a standalone target in the framework…” (7/22).
Thomson Reuters Foundation: Family Planning for Adolescents: The Missing Ingredient?
Suzanne Petroni, senior director of gender, population, and development at the International Center for Research on Women
“This week in London, several hundred advocates and allies, including myself, will join government officials from around the world, led by U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, to rally a global movement to end female genital mutilation (FGM) and child, early and forced marriage for girls within a generation. … Whether married or not, adolescents must have access to gender-equitable and rights-based comprehensive sexuality education that enables them to expand their knowledge and their understanding of their bodies, their rights and the services that should be accessible to them. … It’s a tall order, but we know the approaches that can work in making it happen…” (7/21).