Cutting across countries, cultures, nations, religions and ethnicity lies the issue of child marriage. In April, I wrote a post specifically highlighting the atrocities that young child brides endure. During the Women Deliver Conference, I had the pleasure of meeting the amazing and dedicated Girls Not Brides team. Girls Not Brides’ current project – the creation of an anti-child marriage Coalition – offers like-minded organizations an opportunity to participate in a global movement by sharing information and best practices. Girls Empowerment Network Malawi (GENET Malawi), a grassroots organization and Girls Not Brides Coalition member, works to end child marriage in Malawi. The Girls Empowerment Network believes:
“An educated Malawian girl has high earning potential, enjoys good health, she is less likely to marry as a teenager, has fewer children, less likely to be a victim of gender based violence, more likely to educate her children and be productive to the community and the country at large.”
By creating a platform that allows young advocates to speak out against child marriage, GENET Malawi is building a powerful network of young change agents. At only thirteen years old, Emmanuella Manjolo serves as one of its many impressive youth advocates. Julia Wiklander and I had the privilege of sitting down with Emmanuella at the Women Deliver Conference.
When asked about the importance of engaging youth in the fight to end child marriage, Emmanuella shared:
“It is essential to educate young girls about their rights as well as motivate them to become advocates.”
Crediting GENET Malawi with empowering her to access her own education and training, Emmanuella hopes that people will unite in the fight to end child marriage in Malawi. Emmanuella, a courageous young woman, strongly represents how youth can be a force for good in the global effort to end child marriage.
Watch the video below to hear Emmanuella read her recently published article on child marriage.
Cover Image Photo Courtesy: GENET Malawi