Girls Not Brides: Traditions can change – ending child marriage – YouTube

Girls Not Brides: Traditions can change – ending child marriage – YouTube.

This video neatly encapsulates why just ending child marriage could do so much in a development context – increase literacy,  reduce mother and child mortality, reduce poverty and lack of earning power.

One area of child marriage consistently overlooked is within  Australia’s remote Indigenous communities.  They have conditions quite similar to women in developing world’s failed state situations.  However because they live in one of the wealthiest developed countries in the world, the lens of development is never applied.

This is not just about traditions of arranged marriages – which still take place but the accepted practice of girls leaving school to have babies at a very  tender age.  Investing in educating girls about sexual health and sexuality  and in persuading girls and their families of different possible futures could make such a difference to communities.

We have well funded football programs right across North Australia because we see this as a way to persuade remote Indigenous boys of the benefits of fitness, health, education and having goals.  When I asked why there was not any equivalent program for girls I invariably received one of the following 2 answers

“if we can get boys to attend school the  girls will follow” or ” but girls can be part of the program too.

NOT GOOD ENOUGH

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