Meena - despite being a child bride is educated
A year later, Child-bride Meena is still going to school thanks to Educate Girls
Last year Educate Girls started a powerful campaign on child brides by recounting the striking story of Meena, a young Rajasthani girl married away when she was just three-month old. Meena does manual labor and helps with house chores to support her family. With the help of Educate Girls, she also attends the local government school. Her parents have agreed to let her pursue her education in the hope that she gets a better chance in life than they did.
Meena is not an isolated case. In Rajasthan, 68% of the girls are married before the age of 18. Most of them are not even as lucky as Meena and drop out of school by grade 5. Without education, their chances to get good employment and have access to financial independence later on are dramatically fewer. In the picture above, Meena is standing with her schoolmates – many of whom are child brides or on the verge of becoming so.
Young girls in rural areas are often trapped into early marriage since their parents do not understand the importance of educating them. And yet, it has been demonstrated that an educated woman will earn 10% more income and have a healthier family than an uneducated one in the long run.
This is the reason why Educate Girls fights for girls’ empowerment in Rajasthan. By interacting with the communities, training teachers and improving the school infrastructures, we aim to offer these young girls the opportunity to make a life for themselves and break the pattern of under-age marriage.
In the coming weeks, we will be featuring the stories of Meena’s friends and testimonials from women working on educating them.
Stay tuned to learn more about their situation and what you can do to help them!
*Name changed to protect the identity of the child
Young child bride Meena and her school mates