• Carolyn Mayville


A MATCH International Women's Fund Initiative

In discussion with my best friend, I mentioned, 2019 would be the first, of many years to come, that I dedicate my free time to significant and paramount social causes. I kickstarted the year by volunteering @InterimPlace, a local shelter for women and children that face domestic abuse and/or sexual assault. 

Anyone that has gone down the rabbit hole of volunteering will surely attest that you never feel like you are doing enough! My volunteering started as a passion project for women's rights and slowly evolved into a burning desire to represent anyone that is facing social injustice.  Then I came across this post from @thecolonyproject -The post caption read as follows: "Have you got #beefwithchildbrides? In a world where child brides are treated as - and traded for - livestock, it's time to fight for women's rights. Help end child marriages with @thematchfund by donating until the cows come home.  Could this be true in 2019? I couldn't believe it. So I did what any millennial would do, I asked Google for the answers and here is what I discovered. According to the Match International Women's Fund Website: "An estimated 10 million girls aged 17 or younger are married off yearly to generate income and social status or settle arguments." Unbelievable things girls have been traded for according to Global Citizen:

  • A 6-year-old  girl was married off to a 55-year-old man in exchange for a goat 

  • A 13-year-old girl was married to a 35-year-old man for 50 cows  

  • A 12-year-old girl was sold to a 30-year-old man to settle debts for her parent's opium-addiction 

  • A 14-year-old girl was sold to a 36-year-old man so her father could acquire another wife 

  • A 6-year-old girl was married to a 60-year-old man as a religious offering 


(An excerpt from The Los Angeles Times- Child Brides Sold For Cows: The Price Of Being A Girl In South Sudan by Robyn Dixon)  "In many communities here in one of the world's poorest nations, daughters grow up with a single purpose: to be sold into marriage for cows to expand a family's herd — the closest thing most people have to a bank account — and to buy wives for her brothers." "The bride price is typically 20 to 40 cows, each worth up to $500. A girl who is seen as beautiful, fertile and of high social rank can bring as many as 200 cows."

"To understand how women are valued here, consider the story of a 12-year-old girl killed by a hippo in a swamp a few years back. Thomas Buom, a 40-year-old canoe operator in the eastern town of Nyal, came upon the scene two hours after the attack."

"We were shocked, and we couldn't even talk," he recalled.

"The tragedy of her death, however, wasn't the mere fact that a young girl had died. It was a sad situation, Buom explained, "because we lost that girl who would have been married off for cattle just three years later."

I'm left speechless!

Feeling compelled to put a stop to child marriage after reading this article? Please join me in raising awareness for this cause and help end child marriage by donating @thematchfund today or by visiting the website: https://matchinternational.org/ 

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