From the press release:
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Dr Gro Brundtland and Mary Robinson will draw global attention to the neglected issue of child marriage during the United Nations General Assembly week in New York, 19-23 September. [...] Each year, an estimated 10 million girls are married worldwide before the age of 18. That’s more than 25,000 girls a day who are robbed of their rights and their childhood. Child brides usually drop out of school. Their health is put at risk – girls under 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their 20s.
To find out what you can do, sign up for email updates, and to learn more, check out the Girls Not Brides website.
Child marriage is very much a global issue, and I am deeply passionate about girls’ rights and maternal mortality. Here’s a video and transcript of a hero of mine, Dr. Imane Khachani, speaking about youth reproductive issues globally. These are very serious problems indeed, and I’m glad to see what I hope will be a successful campaign being launched.
The campaign is being organised by a group called the Elders, which was launched in 2007 and, according to the Elders website, aims to offer ‘their collective influence and experience to support peace building, help address major causes of human suffering and promote the shared interests of humanity’. It’s comprised of Martti Ahtisaari, Kofi Annan, Ela Bhatt, Lakhdar Brahimi, Gro Brundtland, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Jimmy Carter, Graça Machel, Mary Robinson and Desmond Tutu (Chair). Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi are honorary Elders.