It’s strange – it would seem that when things don’t affect us directly, we turn a blind eye toward and neglect the importance of it. With human issues, the old adage rings true… “He who feels it, knows it”. However, to quote Jazlyn Roehl, “You have two choices in life…Choice one is to be the same and be like everyone else…Choice two is to be yourself and be a difference-maker”. As you know, Human Views was birthed out of the desire to be difference-makers, to educate people on issues that exist, and to use this education to make a change.
We have to say, we tried to organize the chat last week, but issues with technology prevented a successful launch. Gee Wilkes! It seemed as though whatever could go wrong, did. After a slight round, frustration won round one, but we came back in round two stronger than before. We were even able to get crucial feedback from those who participated in the first attempt, which helped us to prepare for our second, successful, twitter chat.
This topic is such an important one, and one that is not a commonly discussed issue in our society in The Bahamas. The chosen topic was “Forced Marriage”, and invited Alex from It’s My Right – No Forced Marriages ( check out the group on Facebook: It’s My Right). Our initial research uncovered some startling statistics:
14 million girls under the age of 18 marry each year.
That’s around …
1,166,666 a month
269230 a week
38,461 a day
27 every minute
Or around one girl every two seconds.
Among the countries where the rate of early and forced marriage exceeds 70 per cent – Niger, Chad and Mali – adolescent fertility and maternal mortality rates are also high. See more here .
We decided to put together a few questions and ask our Twitter and Facebook followers to add to this list as well. We received an overwhelming response from our social media outlets, and were able to shorten our list of questions to seven crucial ones, that would shed the most light on the topic. A nagging question for us was if forced marriage was a cultural thing, and that it does not happen where we live, right? Or does it?
Using the hashtag #HumanViews, questions were posted to Alex for response, all the way in the United Kingdom. After introductions were made, Human Views got right into the nitty gritty regarding the topic, seeking to shed light on the issue and discover the shocking reality for groups of females across the globe. Questions including, “On the issue of child brides, how can we bring awareness & address this equally or perhaps more upsetting trend?” and “What are some obstacles in navigating cultural and religious sensitive areas & how are they being overcome in the industry?” were posed for response, and Alex handled each question with detailed precision that left participants enlightened and educated them on the details of the subject. You can read a full transcript of the chat here: Storify.
At the end of the hour, we closed the chat with Alex, and deemed our second attempt a real success. We are encouraged to again bring real issues to the forefront, with an interest in educating and providing information for a global audience. Join us next week, when we will discuss human and sex trafficking. In the words of Alex, “Education is empowerment, there are NO limits to the change we can bring”. Stay Empowered!