Gloria Steinem and Emma Watson pledge support to end child marriage
Feminist activist and writer Gloria Steinem has spent her career traveling the world, investigating and drawing attention to the issues affecting women today. In the powerful new documentary series WOMAN, broadcast on the VICELAND channel, she highlights the story of Dialess, a 14-year-old Zambian girl being prepared for her marriage to a 48-year-old man. The marriage marks the end of her school going days, leading to early pregnancy, and a vulnerable life as little more than a domestic servant.
In response to the documentary’s U.S. broadcast, actor and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson joined the call to end child marriage in Zambia, pledging her support to CAMFED on Facebook. Nearly one million people have viewed her call to action.
Watch Emma Watson’s pledge to women and girls in Zambia
Having traveled to Zambia with CAMFED in 2012, Emma saw first hand how child marriage crushes the prospects of individual girls, and affects the health and wealth of an entire nation.
Girls between 15 and 19 are twice as likely to die from preventable causes during pregnancy and childbirth than women in their 20s, and 40% of girls in sub-Saharan Africa are married before the age of 18. Where poverty is acute, families, and sometimes girls themselves, see marriage as the only way to secure their future. The longer a girl stays in school, though, the less likely she is to get married and become pregnant during her teenage years.
CAMFED has 15 years of experience in Zambia supporting girls in the poorest communities to go to school, offering an alternative to early marriage. We prevent child marriage by partnering with girls and their communities to remove the barriers to education. Working together we build the social, emotional and physical infrastructure that supports girls to stay in school, succeed and step up as leaders of change.
For more information on WOMAN with Gloria Steinem visit the Zambia page on Viceland – Woman.