A few months ago I came across a documentary series; directed and hosted by 26 year old Norwegian Emilie K. Beck. The first season is based in Southern Asia, and the second in Latin America. The series focuses predominantly on girls who have been victims of human trafficking, rape, child marriage and exploitation. When most people think of countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Brazil, thoughts of cheap alcohol, holidays, beaches and tourist sights come up. Most people are not thinking about the thriving sex trafficking industries prevalent in these countries, or the 14 year old girl who is being abused and exploited 15 minutes from your beachside hotel. Many people are also unaware that 15 million girls are sold as child brides every year.
“Child Marriage and sexual abuse are severe violations of basic humans rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.”
Often when a girl is sold against her will as a bride, she is forced to quit school and become a ‘woman’, placing her at a higher risk of teenage pregnancy and domestic violence. As we know education leads to empowerment, the longer girls stay in the school the better chance they have at finding opportunities to work outside of the home and earn their own money. I want a world where every girl and boy can live in accordance to the universal declaration of human rights; a world where every person is in control of their own liberty, freedom and agency.
It still baffles be when people claim that feminism is over. In fact, it has only just begun.