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In the occasion of the international day of the girl child: 'Girls, not brides'

Updated on October 12, 2013
A group picture at the end of the event.
A group picture at the end of the event.
University students who attended the event and participated with interesting comments.
University students who attended the event and participated with interesting comments.
Girls' education is very important.
Girls' education is very important.
Let's raise awareness. Let's stop early marriages.
Let's raise awareness. Let's stop early marriages.
No to premature marriage. Yes to girls' education!
No to premature marriage. Yes to girls' education!
At the end of the evening, everyone enjoyed a sweet buffet.
At the end of the evening, everyone enjoyed a sweet buffet.
Laws alone will not stop early marriages. Explaining that most people aren't aware of the harmful impact this phenomenon can have, and that today's young people should raise awareness and do their best to stop child marriage.
Laws alone will not stop early marriages. Explaining that most people aren't aware of the harmful impact this phenomenon can have, and that today's young people should raise awareness and do their best to stop child marriage.
Education is one of the most powerful tools to delay the age at which girls marry.
Education is one of the most powerful tools to delay the age at which girls marry.
 Child marriage  and education:  "My dream is to see every girl get an education in every country" Malala Yousafzai.
Child marriage and education: "My dream is to see every girl get an education in every country" Malala Yousafzai.

Premature marriage is a harsh reality on girls in developing countries. It is done on the cost of a young female’s most basic rights, namely the opportunity to education, a normal childhood and the dream of having the life she wants. Unfortunately, decisions about if and when to marry a girl are often made without her input, and sometimes without her knowledge.

Parents see their young girls as economic burdens, and marrying them at young age is believed to benefit them both financially and socially.

Thus, in the occasion of the international day of the girl child, we all reunited at the American corner to celebrate the event for the first time. The event was under the name of "Girls, not brides", and the themes were child marriage and how it affects girls' education.

The purposes of the event were raising public awareness of the different types of discrimination and abuse that many girls around the world suffer from, and highlighting, discussing, celebrating and ultimately advancing girls’ lives and opportunities across the globe.

At the beginning, there was an introduction in Arabic, for the sake of the attendees who don't understand English very well. Then, a brief overview on early marriages (What is child marriage?). After that, we focused on what's happening in our country: Child marriage in Morocco and the reasons of it which are poverty and notions of morality and honor.

Then, we discussed how girl child marriage affects little girls, especially their education, while we mentioned the brave Malala Yousafzai's quote: “All children should be able to go to school".

What happened to Amina Elfilali was definitely something to be mentioned, the poor minor girl who committed suicide after she was forced to marry her rapist. So we made a presentation in French under the name of "Le mariage entre une jeune fille violée et son violeur (au Maroc, exemple : Amina Filali)". We also played some videos from reality that we previously filmed, where we interrogated different people randomly asking them for their points of view about child marriage. And last but not least, we suggested solutions about how to end child marriage, after that my fried Fatima zohra Brahim took part and talked about the article 475 of the Moroccan penal code.

At the end, there was an open discussion: 'WHAT DO YOU THINK OF CHILD MARRIAGE? DO YOU THINK IT WILL EVER DISAPPEAR? EXPLAIN' where the attendees shared their thoughts. And finally, everyone enjoyed a sweet Buffet, while peaceful songs were played and amazing pictures were taken.

By: Asmae OURKIYA.

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