I learned about Tall as the Baobab Tree from Human Rights Watch. This film is about a teenage girl who is determined to rescue her 11 year old sister from an arranged marriage. Coumba and Debo, sisters who are the first from their family to attend school. What will happen to Debo’s education if she becomes a child bride? According to Girls Not Brides, “Child brides usually drop out of school and are denied the opportunity to complete their education, significantly reducing their ability to earn an income and lift themselves and their children out of poverty.”
Evidence shows that girls who marry early often abandon formal education and
become pregnant. Maternal deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth are an
important component of mortality for girls aged 15–19 worldwide, accounting for
70,000 deaths each year (UNICEF, State of the World’s Children,
Education is key for these girls. It helps them to avoid early marriage and to fulfill their potential. Education is the tool they need to advocate for their rights and make them invaluable to their families and communities. In the words of Greg Mortenson, “Educate a boy, and you educate an individual. Educate a girl, and you educate a community.” Educate the girls instead of selling them in marriage. They are more valuable educated than not.
Check out the trailer.
To find out more about this film and its director, visit the website at http://tallasthebaobabtree.com/
To learn more about child brides and the places where the practice is prevalent, visit the Girls Not Brides website. Children should be allowed to be children. Girls should be allowed to marry when they are of age and are ready. They should be allowed to marry the men of their choice. Until then, they should be allowed to attend and stay in school. Read about the testimonies of former child wives here.
I hope that after you watch the trailer Tall as the Baobab Tree and read the facts about child marriage, that you will be motivated to take action. It is time to act. This widespread practice has been going on for far too long and needs to be stopped. It violates the rights of girls and forces them to take on roles they are not at all ready for. Marriage is for adults not adults and children. As a community we need to stand up and defend the rights of those who are being exploited–especially if they are our children.