“Imagine your 14 year old daughter married to a 50 year old man and she is the third or fourth wife in the house. This is the reality of 2 girls out of 5 in Tanzania,” said Rebeca Gyumi speaking to a sold-out crowd of more than 240 people at Crossroads International’s eight annual Day of the Girl breakfast on October 10, 2019. Patriarchy, dowry price and a gap in the law which sanctioned child marriage are all contributing factors that have denied girls their right to choose their partner and unleash their potential through education said Gyumi.
8th Annual Day of the Girl Breakfast
Rebeca Gyumi won a landmark case when she challenged the Tanzania Marriage Act that allowed girls as young as 14 to marry. In 2018 she was awarded the UN Human Rights Prize in recognition of her work to empower girls in Tanzania. But earlier this year she learned the at the Government of Tanzania was appealing the decision and as of the breakfast all Tanzanians and child rights advocates around the world were awaiting the results of the appeal. On October 23, Tanzania’s Supreme Court of Appeal upheld an earlier ruling banning parents from marrying off girls as young as 14.
Gyumi who is lawyer and Founder & Executive Director of the Msichana Initiative captivated the audience speaking to the experience of thousand of girls globally and in her country Tanzania whose human rights are under threat.
This year’s breakfast drew the largest audience to date with more than 240 in attendance at Arcadian Court in Toronto. Thanks to the generosity and the commitment of the attendees more than $65,000 was raised in support of Crossroads International’s Girls’ Empowerment Program, making it most successful event of the series. Proceeds from the event support locally run empowerment clubs where girls can share their experiences, raise their voices, and learn about their bodies, their rights and their potential. This means more than 3,500 girls can change their lives in Burkina Faso, Ghana, eSwatini, Tanzania and Togo.
This event was made possible thanks to the commitment and support of the members of the 2019 Day of the Girl Advisory Committee: Kyla Bolden, Charmain Emerson, Emily MacKay, Sheri Martinello, Marli Ramsey, Gail Robinson and Shanan Spencer-Brown.
Crossroads International gratefully acknowledges the support of its sponsors:
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The event was captured by Cre8tive Front and Emily Pleasance, click here for the pictures.