When she first arrived in Jordan as a refugee from Sudan five years ago, Waed was painfully shy, refusing to talk to anyone outside her family. Now, sprinting around a basketball court flinging passes and shouting encouragement to her teammates, she says she is unrecognizable from the girl she once was. Waed attributes her transformation to Reclaim Childhood, a non-profit sports programme for refugee and local girls in Jordan.
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Trends in child marriage Over the past decade, child marriage has continued to decline. Globally, the proportion of young women who were married as children decreased by 15 per cent, from 1 in 4 to about 1 in 5.
Two years ago, 16-year-old Salia Shemsu waited to be married off. Like many young girls in Ethiopia, it was only a matter of time before she would need to leave her family for a husband. Then an opportunity she never expected arrived. A local announcement called for young people to join an entrepreneurship programme. Salia responded immediately. Salia’s district is among 30 in Ethiopia where a joint UNFPA-UNICEF programme is now empowering vulnerable adolescent girls and boys to support themselves and make healthy decisions – by providing them with the knowledge and skills to do so.
Sonjida was forced to flee her home and now lives in a refugee camp in Bangladesh. An estimated 693,000 Rohingya have been driven into Bangladesh (as of April 2018). Over half of them are children. A month after arriving at the camp Sonjida got married and now she is pregnant.
Azima, 16, wants to change perceptions about people living with HIV and AIDS in Uzbekistan. Read her full story: https://blogs.unicef.org/blog/hiv-darkness-light-story/
Mariéme Jamme, who received no education until she was 16, is now a technology entrepreneur with a mission to train young women. Mariéme is one of 16 World Economic Forum Young Global Leaders (YGLs) on a visit to Kakuma, and the Kalobeyei settlement in north-western Kenya, to meet refugees and host communities.
Weddings are supposed to be joyous and festive occasions, but this one is anything but a fairytale. About 15 million girls will be married as children this year - their right to a childhood ripped away. This video produced with Bridal Musings, one of the world's most influential wedding blogs, aims to put a spotlight on this grim reality.
"It's a crime. It's like wiping a person away because you take everything away from them." (KII - Women's Rights Advocate, Kandahar) Child marriage in Afghanistan persists at rates that suggest at least one in three young girls will be married before they turn 18.
Early-marriage is a long-standing traditional practice within the Ashkali, Roma and Egyptian communities in Kosovo. Thanks to the campaign conducted by the Network of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian Women Organizations of Kosovo (NRAEWOK) – a project under the EU–UN Women regional programme, ‘Implementing Norms, Changing Minds’ – these communities are learning about the detrimental effects of early-marriage and the restrictions it imposes on girls’ prospects of a decent life, as well as the mechanisms for preventing the potential for violence against women.