Dear AHA Foundation Supporter,
As I again prepare to teach a class this fall, everywhere I look I see indications that the new school year has begun. Social media feeds are flooded with smiling faces and reports on how the first day of class went. But amid these annual signs of joy, in classrooms across the US, something important is missing; many girls will not be allowed to return to school this fall because over summer break they were forced into marriage.
This month, our focus is on those girls who should be studying for exams, but instead are learning to be a wife. When a girl does not show up for school, in most cases in the US, nobody thinks to find out where she has gone or question why. This is outrageous. Our infographic explores just how little is known about this dangerous traditional practice in the US.
We do know that child marriage on a global level is endemic. This spring, our Senior Director made a trip to Capital Hill to fight for the passage of the International Violence Against Women Act, which addresses child marriage and other forms of abuse. She shares the highlights of her journey and an easy, concrete way you can get involved to help protect girls around the world from violence and abuse, including child marriage.
I know that together, we can end this senseless abuse. Will you join me in the fight?
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Founder, The AHA Foundation