Calling for World Peace

Efforts to promote world peace are on the rise as events all over the world align in synchronicity:

world-peace

  1. Goa is hosting the World Peace Music Festival called Sur Jahan from February 8 to 10. International teams from Denmark, Czech Republic, Sweden, Russia and three national teams would participate in this non-commercial, non-ticketed event.
  2. Penzance in Cornwall is hosting a World Peace Conference at the Queen’s Hotel on February 25 and 26 with speakers from various religious backgrounds uniting for tolerance and interfaith cooperation.
  3. The Bahais of Tampa held a Meeting of The Minds on January 28 to discuss attitudes towards World Peace from the Bahai point of view
  4. In Patna, India, devotees have conducted a mahayagya or a great ritual for World Peace on 25 January with chanting over 5 lakh hymns that brought together over 15000 participants
  5. The Dalai Lama has urged Trump and Putin to work together in strengthening World Peace through nuclear disarmament in his speech in New Delhi on 25 January, while affirming that the world has been steadily moving towards peace and harmony over the years.
  6. Meanwhile Greek president Prokopios Pavlopoulos during a visit to Portugal has urged Europe to ensure World Peace and not just focus on the role of USA alone, while highlighting the merits of accepting refugees and immigrants as a mark of trust to replace fear based approach.

Child Not Bride: Saving the future of young girls

children-1689994_960_720

In a shocking development, Bangladesh recently indicated it would legally allow child marriages in ‘special cases’ as reported by the Guardian. Child brides face a greater risk of rape, domestic violence and forced pregnancies.

A 16 year old girl from Hyderabad, India who was forced to marry a man 20 years older and returned home after being sexually assaulted daily and unable to appear for class 10 exams was served a legal notice for not completing her duties as a wife, instead of severely punishing the rapists. Recently a 61 year old Muslim cleric was charged in Melbourne for sexual penetration of a 16 year old on the basis of a DVD of the ceremony conducted in the mosque. Last year a 13 year old girl died of internal injuries merely 4 days after her wedding to a man twice her age in Yemen. Outmoded laws and religious-cultural ideologies that put girls sexual rights in peril are much to blame.

According to this report by Save the ChildrenEvery Last Girl: Free to live, free to learn, free from harm,has ranked countries in an index according to child marriage, schooling, teen pregnancy, maternal deaths and number of female MPs. Rwanda tops the table with 64% followed by Bolivia and Cuba. India has the highest number of child marriages of any country, with 47% of girls married under 18 – around 24.6 million. Whilst one girl under 15 is married every seven seconds, one girl under 18 is married every two seconds. Girls in Sierra Leone are among the most likely in the world to be child mothers. Teenage girls account for 40% of all maternal deaths in the country.Girls are being forced to turn to transaction sex as an economic coping strategy.  Girls suffer most during crises such as the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone where schools shutting down led to an estimated 14,000 teen pregnancies.

The international community has pledged to end child marriage by 2030 but if current trends continue, the total number of women married in childhood will grow from more than 700 million today to around 950 million by 2030, and to 1.2 billion by 2050. The right course of action would be to challenge discriminatory laws, policies, norms and practices and building enabling environments to transform children’s lives. However with poor countries having the worst records, the issue is more about economic empowerment and education than anything else.

Here is how you can help right now:

  1. Walk Free: Join the fight against forced child marriage here
  2. Girls not brides: a partnership of 650 organisations: Donate now
  3. Help end child marriage in Sudan: Contribute
  4. Join forces with these 16 organisations named here

Kindly share this article and the above links to promote the cause.

Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: