Ending Child Marriage: Insights From Desmond Tutu And Mary Robinson

Hi, everyone:
I’m back in the US after spending 5 weeks in Bangladesh, Cambodia and Thailand, hence the lack of posts for a while! I visited Bangladesh and Cambodia with World Vision to see the work they’re doing in those countries to address the issues of child trafficking, dangerous child labor, domestic abuse and street children. I’ll be sharing my experiences in a set of future posts in another week or so ….

However, I wanted to share with you a great article written and posted on Feb 6th for the Huffington Post: “Ending Child Marriage: Insights from Desmond Tutu and Mary Robinson” http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marianne-schnall/desmond-tutu-and-mary-rob_b_1254218.html

Although Kenya as a country is not specifically named in the article (as many other countries are not either), I have certainly seen firsthand much of what this article discusses in my travels there – but more importantly, the work we’re doing together to build schools for girls and fund advocacy in the communities really resonates with some of the solutions and/or priorities that Desmond Tutu and/or Mary Robinson discuss in this article. I LOVE the validation for what we’re doing together!

Here’s a couple of my favorite excerpts:
“Above all, we need to empower girls. We need to improve their access to quality schooling as school attendance has been found to help shift attitudes and ideas that surround child marriage. We also need to provide support networks and create safe spaces where girls can gather and meet, reducing their sense of isolation and vulnerability.”

“First, we need governments to show their support at a legislative level, to enact and enforce a legal minimum age for marriage….But legislation alone will not end entrenched traditional practices. Among the most effective efforts to end child marriage have been community mobilization and empowerment programs that encourage dialogue among parents, religious leaders, village councils, teachers – everyone. Over time these people often come to a collective decision to stop marrying their daughters off very young. We’ve been impressed by the fact that these programs are changing the attitudes of men, some of whom have become the most active advocates for change.”

Thank you for your passion and care to make a difference in the lives of the girls in Kenya!

About margoday

Making a difference in people’s lives at home and internationally is central to who I am. I have been deeply involved in funding the building secondary schools for vulnerable girls in Kenya and took a one-year personal leave of absence from Microsoft to focus my energies on raising funds and awareness for the Kenya Child Protection and Education Project, partnering with World Vision. This project is positively affecting 17,000 children in four areas in the North Rift Valley of Kenya by providing access to quality education, building schools, deepening community advocacy for the education of the girl child, and transforming community attitudes toward early marriage and harmful cultural practices. I've held posts as the former national co-chair for the World Vision National Leadership Council for Child Protection, Board of Advisors President for the Renton/Skyway Boys & Girls Club and past founding board member of SeeYourImpact.org. Professionally, I am vice president of U.S. Education for Microsoft Corp. I lead a team responsible for the U.S. Education strategy and sales to K–12 and higher education customers across the U.S. Through partnerships, programs and technology, Microsoft plays a significant role in helping institutions and educators transform learning that makes a real impact on educational outcomes and helps students realize their full potential. I have more than 31 years of experience in high-technology software sales, marketing, business development, and partner and channel management, and at Microsoft for the past 14 years holding previous roles of Vice President, West Region SMS&P and Vice President, US Partners. I was honored with the 2014 Circle of Excellence, Platinum Club Founders award , 2006 Microsoft Most Inspirational Woman award, and in 2012 was nominated for the Anita Borg Women of Vision Social Impact Award. I live in the Seattle area and enjoy backpacking, boating, cycling, scuba diving, skiing, golf, adventure travel and, when it’s rainy outside, attending concerts and theater as well as enjoying a great glass of wine.
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One Response to Ending Child Marriage: Insights From Desmond Tutu And Mary Robinson

  1. Lisa Burns says:

    Thanks for sharing, Margo! I love that the article pointed our how dialogue … from EVERYONE … is so key to changing centuries-old, barbaric practices. The spoken word is very powerful, especially when it falls on open ears and hearts! Love you, sis!

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