How you (and the U.S. Government) can end child marriage in developing countries
May 16, 2012 BY Inuki Pantin
It starts with one voice. I speak up and while, I won’t be ignored, combining my voice with yours will make our calls stronger. Your representative in Washington listens. If you speak up and you tell your friends to speak up, your representative, your senator will have to listen. They need to know that we care that the U.S. needs to work with the UN to end child marriage because U.S. policies have a huge effect on national and local policies in other countries.
My job is to educate people about the fundamental problems that people face around the world. I want people to understand that if the U.S. and the United Nations work together to tackle these problems we can end things like malaria, childhood diseases, and child marriage. I am passionate about my job and I know how we can all make a difference.
The U.S. has long been a leader on advancing women’s rights and has now taken an important step in championing the rights of adolescent girls. Currently in Congress there is legislation that will protect adolescent girls in developing countries from being married against their will. The legislation makes child marriage a violation of human rights and makes ending child marriage a U.S. foreign policy goal.
What will this legislation do?
It will allow U.S. leaders to talk to other world leaders about child marriage. With your support, our leaders can provide more opportunities for girls to get an education and for women to make an income - both of which help prevent child marriage and achieve the UN’s Millennium Development Goals and other U.S. foreign policy objectives.
Additionally this legislation will:
• Direct the President to establish a multi-year strategy to prevent child marriage and promote the empowerment of girls at risk of child marriage in developing countries.
• Encourage U.S. government agencies to collect and share data on child marriage in countries that receive U.S. financial assistance.
• Require the U.S. State Department to include updates on child marriage in their annual human rights report.
What can you do?
Contact your member of Congress and tell them, “I DO take a stand against child marriage” and ask him or her to take a stand with you.
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