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We can end child marriage! On Day of the Girl, letís talk how

©Girls Not Brides

Did you know that 11 October 2012 marks the first ever International Day of the Girl Child? Itís a global celebration of adolescent girls and overdue recognition that if we unlock their potential, we can build a healthier, more just and prosperous world.

The United Nations has chosen child marriage as this year's theme for Day of the Girl. Every year, 10 million girls a year are married as children, denying them their rights to education, to health and to live in safety and security. This yearís Day of the Girl is a unique opportunity to highlight the challenges that girls face, particularly when they marry as children.

On Day of the Girl, weíll be joining friends and members of Girls Not Brides in a Google+ Hangout to discuss why the need to end child marriage is urgent and what we can do to end the practice.

In the Hangout we'll talk about the challenges faced when addressing a harmful traditional practice like child marriage and point to some of the amazing work that's already being done to convince families and communities not to marry off their daughters as children.

So, join us on 11 October as we discuss what can be done to help millions of girls avoid early marriage and fulfil their potential!

Tune in live and watch the Hangout via Girls Not Brides at 2pm GMT (10am New York, 3pm London, 5pm Addis Ababa, 7.30pm Delhi)

Post your questions for [insert the name of your participant] and fellow participants on the Girls Not Brides Google+ page, our Facebook page or on Twitter using the hashtag #ChildMarriageHangout.

Participants in the Girls Not Brides Day of the Girl Google+ Hangout

Mary Robinson, The Elders, @TheElders
Mary Robinson was the first woman President of Ireland and is a former United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights. Mary Robinson is also a member of The Elders, a group of independent leaders using their collective experience and influence for peace, justice and human rights worldwide.

In 2011 The Elders founded Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage. Mary Robinson and her fellow Elders have since visited Ethiopia and India to meet adolescent girls and boys determined to end child marriage.

Christy Turlington Burns, Every Mother Counts, @CTurlington and @EveryMomCounts
With nearly thirty years at the forefront of the fashion industry, having graced every magazine cover from Vogue to Time, Christy Turlington Burns has established a diverse career as a model, writer, entrepreneur, spokesperson, advocate, and filmmaker.

In 2010, she completed and debuted her documentary film, NO WOMAN, NO CRY, about the global state of maternal health. Concurrent with the debut of her documentary, Christy launched Every Mother Counts, an action and mobilisation campaign designed to educate and support maternal, newborn and child health.

Anju Malhotra, UNICEF, @UNICEF
Dr. Anju Malhotra is Principal Adviser, Gender and Rights, at UNICEF where she leads strategy, programming and policy to ensure that both girls and boys from diverse backgrounds and settings benefit from and participate in sustainable development efforts.

Anju and her team collaborate across UNICEFís program and policy efforts to overcome the barriers to childrenís well-being and rights presented by gender inequality and human rights violations. Anju was previously at the International Center for Research on Women and is a member of the Girls Not Brides Advisory Committee.

Muhammad Shahzad Khan, Chanan Development Association, Pakistan, @FriendsofUNFPA

Muhammad, 27, hails from a village in Bahawalpur, Pakistan. When he was 12 years old, village elders told his father to marry his teenage sister to a 50-year-old man. Muhammad began a hunger strike to protest the marriage and his family soon joined him. The wedding was called off but the family had to leave the village and settle in Lahore. He has since set up

Kakenya Ntaiya, Kakenya Centre for Excellence


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