To mark the Day of the African Child, 16 June 2016, HER CHOICE, as a member of Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage, is launching a music video and calling for renewed action to end child marriage. HER CHOICE is an alliance of four Netherlands-based organisations: Stichting Kinderpostzegels Nederland, The Hunger Project, International Child Development Initiatives (ICDI) and the University of Amsterdam. These organisations combine their efforts with 27 local partner organisations to combat child marriage in eleven countries.
The song ‘We are Girls, Not Brides‘ was written, composed and sung by a group of talented young girls from Lusaka Girls School, who take part in a girls’ empowerment club run by Girls Not Brides member Continuity-Zambia Organization. The song is a powerful reminder that girls want to be girls not brides, and that governments must deliver on their commitments to end child marriage in Africa. Click to see the video
In addition to a regional campaign to end child marriage and the increasing number of national initiatives, more African leaders are committing to end the practice. Child marriage jeopardises efforts to improve maternal and infant health and has devastating consequences for the girl, her family, and her future children. Child brides face higher risk of death and injury in pregnancy and childbirth: girls aged 15-19 are more likely to die in childbirth than young women aged 20-24, and girls under the age of 15 are at an even greater risk. Their children suffer too: when a mother is under 20 her baby is 50% more likely to die within the first few weeks of life.