The child bride crisis is an issue that affects the entire world. According to reports, early marriage often occurs because families are trying to protect their daughters from issues such as poverty or sexual exploitation. In other parts of the globe, young girls are married off to older men in exchange for dowries.
The physical and psychological problems of child brides can last a lifetime. There also have been reports of girls dying of internal injuries on their wedding night, and others live several years in fear of their abusers. Several countries have sought to take action on this issue, raising the legal age of marriage from 15 to 18. Yet that has not deterred this tragedy from happening every day. If this trend continues, experts predict that over 150 million girls will be married before their 18th birthday.
30-Year-Old Proposes to Minor to Raise Awareness of Child Bride Crisis
BØRNEfonden is one of Denmark’s largest organizations funded by private sponsorship. Through this honorable cause, they have supported over 60,000 children and families from third-world countries such as Togo, Burkin Faso, Mali, and Cape Verde.
In an effort to raise awareness about child marriages in Mali, they staged a commercial where a 30-year-old actor asks Danish fathers’ permission to marry their preteen daughters. Denmark has zero tolerance for such acts, so the fathers were visibly shaken by what they had just heard. Their looks go from confusion to anger at the idea of their daughters being manipulated by this predator.
Thankfully, the actor reveals that it was all just acting and informs the men that he is involved with BØRNEfonden. A look of relief washes over the fathers faces immediately. This PSA was not only a wake-up call for those involved in the video but for everyone else as well.
Mali is listed as the 13th poorest in the world. Despite a slight decrease in child marriage rate in the last 30 years, it is still considered as a common practice. Many girls are married in arranged unions before their 18th birthday.
BØRNEfonden seeks to address the child bride issue by providing support in the form of education and welfare for these young girls. To help, visit their website here.