Dear AHA Foundation Supporter,
Last October, in her op-ed in the Sun Sentinel, our own Senior Director, Amanda Parker, pleaded with Florida legislators to close a legal loophole that allows thousands of young girls, some as young as 13, to be married off in this state – in many cases to their rapists.
Early this month, thanks to several years of advocacy by child marriage survivor Sherry Johnson and supporters like you, progress was finally made in Florida. The state legislatures passed a law banning child marriage before the age of 17 and Governor Rick Scott recently signed this legislation into law.
There is no question this is a huge win against child marriage in the U.S., but this law leaves many girls behind, and we claim it to be a partial victory in a comment we gave to PBS Frontlinehere.
At a UN conference on child marriage, my Research Assistant at the Hoover Institution, Alex Still, shared why parental consent for marriage before 18 adds no protection to a minor who is being forced into an unwanted marriage by those same parents. She also brought attention to honor violence, a lesser-known abusive practice that often overlaps with instances of child and forced marriage. Watch the UN conference here – Alex’s contributions start at 50 minutes.
A survivor, whose intimate story of undergoing female genital mutilation (FGM) we share here, was cut when she was 16 and has suffered from the trauma ever since. She works to raise awareness about FGM to help save other girls from being cut.
Four determined students from Penn State Law School are fighting the same battle. Read here how they turned their professor’s challenge into a mission to end FGM and protect little girls at home, and globally.
I hope our newsletter continues to inspire you. Take a moment and send us topics you would like to see included in future newsletters.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Founder, AHA Foundation