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Our Sisterhood's superpowers can end gender-based violence

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16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence

This 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence (November 25 – December 10) we’re spotlighting our Sisterhood’s superpowers when it comes to tackling violence and abuse, including early marriage.

Read on and join us across social media (@Camfed) to meet activists in the CAMFED Association of women leaders, who use the powers unlocked in them by education to claim rights, prevent abuse, and support justice – for themselves and for other women and girls. 

Education is the only tool to overcome early marriage and gender-based violence.

Esmie, CAMFED Association member and activist, Malawi

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"I always put myself in the shoes of those at risk. I am there for them"

Through the CAMFED Association I began my voluntary activism to protect girls in my community from child marriage. Together we go into the community and mentor other girls so they too can finish secondary school.

I have built a strong bond with Senior Chief Sultan Chowe and now we work together to ensure girls can go to school and eradicate early marriage. He takes me wherever he is going to talk to girls about the challenges they are experiencing so I can give them advice.

My work with all the different stakeholders in my community has put me on the map as someone who will always advocate for girls’ rights. If I am alerted to a case of child marriage, I speak with the victim to understand her issues and how to support her. Then I take action so she can leave that marriage. I advise her to go back to school and work hard so she can have a better life.

I have already managed to end 16 child marriages in my community.

Read more in Esmie's story

Discover our year-round activism for women and girls

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Video: The CAMFED Association – Tackling child marriage

Rose is a leader in the CAMFED Association of women leaders educated with CAMFED support. Rose explains how she and her sisters in this powerful network rally school and community support to end child marriage, which is especially prevalent in marginalized communities, where families often lack the financial resources to feed, clothe and support their children through school.

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Confidence, courage, compassion, collaboration: How girls’ education is boosting a Sisterhood of game changers

CAMFED Tanzania’s Anna Sawaki and Stumai Kaguna give examples from our work of how, through education, women whose voices had never been heard become actively involved in decision-making. These women are then often the first to be contacted by those concerned about violence and abuse.

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Agnes works to 'Orange the World' for a violence free future

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In the lead up to this year’s 16 Days of Activism, CAMFED Association leader and author Agnes Mgoji invited members of her community to her latest book launch event. She used it as an opportunity to make a stand against gender-based violence, promote the potential of African girls and women, and play her part to ‘Orange the World’.

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We can’t afford to lose our future leaders – it’s in our power to keep girls learning and safe from abuse

As a role model especially to girls, I help them discover their potential and their powers — for example the courage to become someone like me, who assists others and runs a business. As a result, they will live a better life, which will also benefit those around them, because you always give to others.

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Safeguarding girls and their rights during a time of crisis

Research carried out by CAMFED Ghana sought to understand challenges for students that were exacerbated by COVID-19. Whilst the majority of girls did not feel pressured to enter into early marriage, a notable 14% said they felt very pressured. In response, CAMFED worked to strengthen the existing Learner Guide Program, led by young women who are ambassadors for the life changing power of education.

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