Championing the Rights of Young Girls with VOW for girls
October 11 marks what the United Nation has declared “International Day of the Girl Child”—a day to acknowledge the rights and challenges young girls around the world face. Championing the rights of young girls has always been a cause that’s near and dear to our hearts—and one we advocate for through our work with the incredible organisation, VOW for girls. Today, then, we wanted to talk a little bit about VOW for girls and how fellow event-industry creatives, couples getting married, or anyone (like you!) can get involved.
What is VOW for Girls?
VOW for girls is an organisation that provides simple, impactful paths for raising awareness and funds to end child marriage. Much of their work is aimed at encouraging involvement from wedding pros, engaged couples, and businesses involved in the wedding industry. 100% of the funds they raise go directly toward funding local organisations that advance girls’ rights by providing education, job training and vital life skills.
How common is child marriage?
- More than 12 million girls each year become child brides.
- 720 million women alive today were married as children.
- For every girl who graduates high school in the US, 6 girls are married under the age of 18 around the world.
- A girl under the age of 18 becomes a bride once every 3 seconds (that’s 20 child brides in one minute).
What are the impacts of child marriage?
When a girl is married before the age of 18, the consequences go far beyond just her lack of autonomy in choosing a life partner. She’s locked into a lifetime of poverty, denied an education, and deprived of the joy that comes from choosing her own future. She is kept from enjoying the enriching experiences that so many of us experience every single day without a second thought—buying our own groceries, choosing which books we read, building our business, managing our schedule, going out to dinner, going to school, watching what we want to watch on TV after a long day, dreaming about the future we want, sharing our life with partner we chose.
A child bride is also often denied the legal rights that a married adult has (including a right to divorce), is subjected to physical and sexual abuse, is often forced to drop out of school, and is often forced to get pregnant before her body is ready—which can result in life-threatening complications.
How is Exalt Africa involved with VOW for Girls?
Our founder, Mwai Yeboah, is a proud brand ambassador and “VOW Pro” for VOW for Girls. As someone who grew up in a community that unfortunately still practices child marriage for girls, getting involved with VOW was a very clear choice for Mwai. She uses her voice to amplify the organisation’s worthy mission, leverages her platforms to speak out against child marriage, and uses her status within the international wedding industry to shine a light on the child-marriage crisis.
How can I get involved with VOW for Girls?
Great question! There are countless ways you can join us in championing the rights of young girls:
- Couples getting married can add VOW for Girls as their charity of choice on their wedding registry.
- Anyone can purchase VOW products.
- Wedding-industry pros can sign up to become a VOW pro.
- Businesses can sign the VOW pledge.
- Anyone can donate to the VOW for Girls cause
Championing the rights of young girls—and doing everything we can to preserve their youth, freedom of choice, and right to an education—is something that can’t (and shouldn’t) be confined to a single day on our calendars. When girls thrive, we all thrive. We would love for you to join us in celebrating this International Day of the Girl Child by learning more about VOW for girls and getting involved however you can.
Until next time!