Calling on the global community to help break down the barriers that keep so many girls & women from pursuing theirs
On International Day of the Girl, Gucci’s CHIME FOR CHANGE launches a campaign with Academy Award winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy to #LetGirlsDream in support of Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage and Equality Now’s efforts to bring an end to child marriage.
Compelled by this critical global issue, CHIME FOR CHANGE has partnered with two-time Academy and three-time Emmy Award-winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy on her new animated short film, SITARA, about Pari, a young girl whose dream of being a pilot is crushed when she is forced into child marriage. It is the story of 12 million girls around the world who are married off as child brides every year.
To accompany the film and in coordination with Equality Now and Girls Not Brides, CHIME FOR CHANGE has launched a campaign around the theme “Let Girls Dream.” At LetGirlsDream.org and through the hashtag #LetGirlsDream, visitors are encouraged to share their dreams and to call on the global community to help break down the barriers that keep so many girls and women from pursuing theirs. Alessandro Michele, Marco Bizzarri, Lou Doillon, Elle Fanning, Bethann Hardison, Leymah Gbowee, Angelica Hicks, Neelofa, Elise by Olsen, Saoirse Ronan, Jodie Turner-Smith, Alison Wonderland, John Yuyi, and acid attack survivors from Hothur Foundation, girls and women from mothers2mothers, Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa, Lower East Side Girls Club, and many others, have shared their dreams on the platform.
“Child marriage is a practice that needs to be relegated to history,” said Yasmeen Hassan, Global Executive Director of Equality Now. “This practice violates girls’ human rights, increases their vulnerabilities and curbs their potential. Governments must enforce laws against child marriage. And all of us need to unite against this practice. I am glad that CHIME FOR CHANGE has taken up this campaign.”
On the eve of International Day of the Girl, Gucci and CHIME FOR CHANGE hosted the premiere of SITARA, produced with VICE Studios, followed by a conversation with Obaid-Chinoy, Executive Producers Gloria Steinem and Ariel Wengroff, producer Imke Fehrmann, and composer Laura Karpman, moderated by Kimberly Drew. At LetGirlsDream.org educators globally have the opportunity to request a local screening, discussion materials and activities that encourage girls and young people to share their dreams and inspire one another.
“For me, SITARA is more than a film, it’s a movement that we want to start across the world, that encourages parents to invest in their girls’ dreams, freeing their daughters from the burdens of early marriage.”
“Young girls everywhere still face considerable hurdles in achieving their dreams,” said director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. “SITARA embodies that struggle; it is the story of Pari, a young girl who dreams of becoming a pilot and is robbed of it. It is a story about the burdens of family and the impact of patriarchal culture. For me, SITARA is more than a film, it is a movement that we want to start across the world, that encourages parents to invest in their girls’ dreams, freeing their daughters from the burdens of early marriage.”
Child marriage is a violation of human rights. Girls who are married before the age of 18 are at risk of increased domestic violence, early or forced pregnancy, and negative health consequences. They are often denied education and economic opportunity, which traps them in a cycle of poverty. Many countries have raised the legal age of marriage to 18. However, the law is not always enforced and is not enough in communities where child marriage holds strong cultural or economic significance.
Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage is a partnership of more than 1,200 civil society organizations committed to ending child marriage and enabling girls to fulfill their potential. It has a theory of change which explains how ending child marriage requires long-term sustainable efforts by a variety of actors across sectors. Since 1995, Equality Now has been working to achieve legal and systemic change by calling on governments to enact and uphold laws that prevent child marriage, and to advocate for 18 as the minimum age of marriage, without exception.