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Saturday, 14 September 2013

You may play your part!

It was the German pastor and theologian, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who said "Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act."

It's a potent thought as we learn of Rawan, aged 8, who was sold by her parents, and forced into a marriage with a man five times her age. The injuries her young body sustained from her “wedding night” resulted in her death, and her story has sent shock-waves throughout the world.  It also reminds me of Deborah, a Christian woman in Nigeria, who was forced to watch her husband and sons being murdered by Islamist extremists, and her two daughters (both under ten) being abducted - to a similar fate as that of Rawan?!

The most shocking thing about Rawan’s story is the fact that to many, her story is not shocking at all! Forced Child Marriage is a form of modern slavery and, in the Republic of Yemen, there is no law which makes it illegal. The Yemeni Government, however, has the power to bring an end to Forced Marriage forever.  The first step is to ban the marriage of anyone under the age of 18, protecting children from a life of domestic and sexual slavery.

We know that ending Forced Marriage everywhere poses big obstacles and yet, in the aftermath of Rawan’s death, and with the eyes of the world on Yemen, this may be one of few fleeting moments when we can create change. We’re not going to let down the millions of girls, vulnerable to this form of modern slavery.

Forced Child Marriage is modern slavery and can be stopped.
Follow this link to call on the government of Yemen to ban Forced Child Marriage.

Thank you for joining me in taking action. 

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