In Turkey, 28% of women are considered a child bride. This number increases in the Southeastern region to 40-45%. A child bride is defined by having forcibly pushed into marriage before the age of 17. The problems are so complex, but the answers are so simple. Turkish Philanthropy Funds works with multiple NGOs on the ground in Turkey that combat child brides through education and providing financial stability.
Out of 42,312 women and girl child brides interviewed in Turkey, 364 were under 12 years old, 7,617 were between 13-15 years old and 11,400 were 16 or 17. Girls are married off early to minimize the economic burden on their family as well as the risk of any sexual contact before marriage, with the bride price that is still paid in many regions as an additional incentive. Girls are not given access to education or financial stability and are left to believe their only option is to be married at a
Turkish Philanthropy Funds works with multiple organizations that directly combat the issue of child brides. They provide scholarships to girls, provide jobs as kilim weavers to provide financial stability and teach them skills to gain financial stability. By giving girls the tools they need to know better than what her parents tells her, will decrease the number of child brides significantly. She will have the ability to provide for her and her family will be less likely to be married off.
This project has both short and long term effects. The short term effects are the specific girls that will overcome the standard, attend school, bring home an income and be independent. The long term effect is changing a culture and changing the stigma. It is our goal is for complete gender equality where both girls and boys are given equal access to opportunities.