Posted by: africanpressorganization | 16 June 2015

Young African activists share powerful stories on child marriage in first ever UNICEF Twitter takeover


Young African activists share powerful stories on child marriage in first ever UNICEF Twitter takeover


NEW YORK, June 16, 2015/African Press Organization (APO)/ Five young activists from across Africa are sharing their powerful personal experiences of child marriage in UNICEF’s first ever global Twitter takeover on this year’s Day of the African Child (June 16).


The inspiring young women from Chad, Niger, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Uganda are each telling their story by taking the reins of the @UNICEF account – one of the largest non-profit Twitter presences in the world with more than 4 million followers.


The girls, two of whom were child brides themselves, overcame adversity to become advocates for other women and girls around the world.


“This is an incredible opportunity to share my story and contribute to the campaign to end child marriage in Africa, particularly in Chad,” says one of the participants, activist and former child bride Mariam Moussa. “I hope it will also save my daughter and other young girls from the same path I have had to take.”


Worldwide, more than 700 million women alive today were married as children, and more than 1 in 3 were married before the age of 15. Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 40 per cent of girls married by the time they reach the age of 18.


“Child marriage robs girls of their childhoods and can scar their lives forever,” says Susan Bissell, UNICEF’s Chief of Child Protection.


“Child brides often drop out of education. They are more likely to die due to complications in pregnancy and experience horrific violence, exploitation and abuse. These incredible young activists are beacons of hope. We need all parts of society to follow their example and take urgent action to protect those at risk.”


Day of the African Child commemorates a march in 1976 in Soweto, South Africa, when thousands of school children took to the streets to demonstrate for better education. The focus of this year’s events is accelerating efforts to end child marriage in Africa.





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