Yesterday (October 6th) was Desmond Tutu’s birthday. He just turned 80. With his birthday comes a new resolve – to begin the hard work on a very serious and heartbreaking issue. Child Marriage.
Desmond Tutu. I love this man. I applaud everything he stands for, what he says, thinks and writes. I had the good fortune to see him in person, and what a delight that was. I wrote a blog post about seeing him in person in February, 2010. Here’s a link to that February 2010 post: blessings, warnings, and love from Archbishop Desmond Tutu
The work they do on the global stage, is inspiring. And, whether we know it or not, we are all part of the global community. The Internet has made our world flat, as Thomas Friedman observes in his interesting book, “The World is Flat. (A good read!)
When I visited the Elders site yesterday, I learned that one of the more recent trips Tutu took was to Ethiopia where he learned how vast the problem of Child Marriage really is.
Desmond Tutu recently wrote:
I have to confess that I was simply not aware of the scale and impact of child marriage. 10 million girls a year, 25,000 girls a day, are married without any say in the matter, to men who are often older than they are. These girls almost always drop out of school to attend to household chores, and when they become young mothers themselves face serious dangers of injury and even death in pregnancy and childbirth. Child marriage robs girls of their childhood, of their basic rights to education, security and health.
I thought I had a pretty good idea of the human rights landscape on this precious earth we share. What I have realised is that these girls are invisible and voiceless, making them some of the most vulnerable, disempowered people on our planet. (Desmond Tutu, 9/20/2011) http://www.theelders.org/article/message-men-and-boys-about-child-marriage
I will be following this issue, and will write more in coming days. For now? Well. I must jump into the weekend, (though it is and will continue to be, an incredibly rainy and windy weekend, it’s not gonna wash out my fun!
- Opinion: Why Desmond Tutu is everybody’s archbishop! (cnn.com)
- South Africa’s Desmond Tutu Marks 80th Birthday – Voice of America (news.google.com)