Plan-UK Releases Educational Materials About Forced Marriages

Anti-Early-marriage campaign posterAn organization in the United Kingdom, Plan-UK, is partnering with thousands of schools in the country to educate students about an issue that is affecting young girls around the world: early and forced marriage. Plan has created an animated film and learning plan called “The Right to Say No,” which can be used to help educate students about this issue.

“Forced marriage is an abuse of human rights, a form of domestic abuse and, where it affects children and young people, child abuse,” said Lynne Featherstone, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Equalities and Criminal Information. “The government is already taking action, both in the UK and abroad, to raise awareness of the issue and protect those at risk. …I welcome the involvement of NGOs like Plan UK, whose new school resources pack is an example of the valuable work a number of charities are doing to provide information and support to local communities.”

Around the world, ten million girls who are under the age of 18 are forced to marry every year. This is 27,397 girls every day, or 19 girls every minute. In England, there were 1,735 cases of forced marriage last year. The holiday season is when many of these girls are forced into marrying a man who lives in another country and could be three times as old as them.

In order to draw attention to this problem, many schools will begin using “The Right to Say No” education materials before the end of the term. “The Right to Say No,” is based on the experiences of one 16-year old British girl who was forced into an early marriage in Pakistan.

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Engaged and Underage: Student Engagements on the Rise

Young Bride and GroomIt seems every time I log into Facebook, another one of my sorority sisters is engaged. Maybe I missed this trend, but it seems that more and more college undergraduate students are walking around campus with huge diamonds on their left ring fingers.

Studies have shown that over the last 20 years it seemed that most heterosexual American couples got engaged between the ages of 24-28 and since 2010 the average age has dropped to 22-26. An interesting comparison: during the 1960s and 1970s the average age was 18-24, proving the time-old tale of every trend skips a generation.

With many students being high school sweethearts, some parents are worried their children are settling down too fast without seeing what other fish are in the sea. But their concerns are not universal nor necessarily reflect the opinions of those who actually are engaged. Read the rest of this entry »

Female Student Asks Boyfriend to Marry Her

gender symbolIt’s hard to believe that less than 100 years ago, women could not vote, own land, or enjoy many of the equal rights that we now enjoy. I know that things are not perfectly equal between the two genders, but I like to think that women are closing the gender gap more and more every day.

According to a recent study, the number of women who enrolled in higher education programs grew by 136 percent between 1970 and 2000. That’s a huge increase! The increase was even more substantial in professional school programs, where the number of female students increased by 853 percent.

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