Game Of Thrones Actresses Unite To Fight Child Marriage & FGM

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Around the world 130 million girls are live with the effects of female genital mutilation, often referred to as female circumcision, or FGM. It is a barbaric, unnecessary and very dangerous procedure still carried out in many African and Muslim nations because they believe a woman is worth more in a marriage if she has been ‘cut’.

But FGM often leaves these girls with life-long health complications and in some cases, leads to death. It is one of the most cruel practices still being done today, and there are many campaigns to end this. In July, the UK government held the inaugural Girl Summit which gathered leaders, organizations and survivors from around the world to discuss how to tackle the epidemic of FGM and child marriage, another practice which only serves to inhibit a girl from living a full and free life.

In terms of child marriage, one third of the world’s girl population are forcibly married before the age of 18. Not only is this damaging psychologically, but also ushers in health complications because some of these under-age girls are not fully developed, and sadly many of them suffer physical abuse at the hands of husbands who are often more than 3 times their age, in a trade done by their parents who live in poverty and cannot afford to invest in the life of a girl.

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Plan UK’s ‘Because I Am A Girl’ campaign is directly targeting these two crucial issues, and using celeb names to front the campaigns. If you never thought you’d see the day where Cersei Lannister and Margaery Tyrell would team up for the same cause without any evil intent, well think again. ‘Game of Thrones’ stars Lena Headey (Lannister) and Natalie Dormer (Tyrell) along with West End star Beverly Knight are the new faces for the ‘Face up to Violence Against Girls’ posters which is the latest installment in the ‘Because I Am A Girl’ campaign.

Plan International was founded in 1937, and BIAAG was created with the intent to reach the most vulnerable and marginalized girls living in extreme poverty, and to directly impact and improve the lives of 4 million girls by 2015 through empowerment and education. Other celeb spokeswomen include Indian actress Freida Pinto who starred in a video about the cause.

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Speaking about her involvement in the campaign, Lena Headey expresses how important she feels an initiative like this is.

“It fills me with hope that someday soon girls can grow up on a world that is free from these harmful practices. I urge everyone – men, boys, women and girls – to join me in standing up for girls’ rights’ with Plan UK.”

Her co-star Natalie Dormer believes we can all play a part in ending atrocities like FGM and child marriage.

“It’s a powerful stance that we’re all taking, and by uniting together we can help keep millions of girls safe from harm,” she said.

Awareness goes a lot further than you might think, as many FGM campaigns state the importance of younger generations education the elderly in the family why it is a harmful practice. Often the grandmothers or older women who perform the ceremonies only have the religious or cultural significance in mind, and don’t recognize the barbaric procedure actually does nothing to preserve anything important in a young girl’s body.

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In the UK, The Guardian’s campaign to end FGM and rally UK Education minister Michael Gove have been successful in that they now have education programs implemented in schools where immigrant children are well-equipped with the right information to pass on to their families who still practice FGM. They believe this will be the key to ending FGM in the UK, and perhaps globally too.

Along with education, the victims’ stories must be heard in order to recognize what is being done.

By putting the stories of real girls where they can’t be ignored, we hope to build momentum, unite opinion and end FGM and child marriage in a generation,” Plan UK chief executive, Tanya Barron said.

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“We’re absolutely delighted that Lena, Natalie and Beverley are facing up to girls’ rights and are on board to help us get this vital message across.”

Aside from the posters shown here, an app will be available in the UK where users can insert their own face in place of the stars faces, and share it via various social media platforms using the hashtag #faceup to spread the message far and wide.

If you are not in the UK and still want to get involved, by all means share the above photos because it is the message that needs to be told.

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  1. Pingback: FGM – Female Genital Mutilation – Culture ! | VIEWS AND THOUGHTS   –   Tell us what you think – Click here to return to the home page

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