Emma Watson Helps Advocate to End Child Marriages
Just one day before the International Day of the Girl, Emma Watson, Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations, traveled to Malawi to discuss the effects of child marriage with its leaders, women, and girls.
According to the U.N. Women press release, the country's President, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, has actively promoted the HeForShe campaign in order to "set the ambitious goal of enforcing the law on marriage in the next five years."
Such steps will ensure that the Law on Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations — adopted in 2015 and raising the minimum age requirement for marriage to 18 years old — is taken seriously.
"This magnificent day spent in Malawi was for me a moving and enriching experience," Watson told U.N. Women, reflecting on her day spent with Malawian girls. "Facing poverty and the prospect of an early marriage would deprive them of education... It is so encouraging to see that by working together to vote and implement new legislation, the communities manage to stop such a harmful practice."
"I applaud and thank our HeForShe Impact Champion President Mutharika for making this issue a priority in his Government, as well as all the traditional leaders — especially Chief Kachindamoto (so formidable, she has been nicknamed “The Terminator”!)," Watson said. "She has implemented the annulment of so many child marriages and restored the futures of these girls. With the help and collaboration of her local chiefs, mothers’ groups and religious leaders, she has managed to annul almost 1500 child marriages, sending the girls back to school."
See below for a glimpse of some of her time spent in Africa.
I had the most amazing day in Malawi today. Thank you President Mutharika for being a #HeForShe Impact Champion and for making gender equality a priority in your Government! Thank you to all the traditional leaders who are implementing President Mutharika's policies - especially Chief Kachindamoto (she’s in the photo with me, she’s formidable and has been nicknamed “The Terminator”!). She gave me such a warm welcome today. She has implemented the annulment of so many child marriages and restored the futures of these girls. With the help and collaboration of her local chiefs, mothers’ groups and religious leaders she has managed to annul almost 1500 child marriages, sending the girls back to school. President Mutharika has committed to make child marriage a thing of the past in Malawi within the next five years. It was amazing to be on the ground with @UNWomen and Chief Kachindamoto to witness their work! My @tomenyc white shirt is made from organic cotton and is part of their 'White Shirt Project’ campaign. The project was conceived in 2014 to raise funds and awareness for the Freedom for All charity, which is fighting human trafficking and modern day slavery. The silk skirt is by @zady. Zady partnered with @cocccon_prakesh, founded in 2012 by Chandra Prakash Jha, a fashion designer who wanted to help his community through fairer wages and a safer, more sustainable process. Instead of using toxic pesticides on the plants that the silkworm caterpillars eat, the farmers protect the trees by covering them with mosquito nets to protect the leaves from harmful birds and insects. Then the silk is brought to New York where expert sewers in New York’s famed Garment District create each piece. Sandals by @nisoloshoes. The sandals were made by a team of expert shoemakers in Trujillo, Peru in a factory owned and operated by Nisolo that celebrates fair trade wages, safe working conditions, healthcare for all employees, and financial literacy & wellness training. All fashion info verified by @ecoage
Photo Credit: UN Women / Karin Schermbrucker