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Why sports for child marriage prevention advocacy?

Author: ranaumairasif
Copyrights: ranaumairasif

Why sports for child marriage prevention advocacy?

Sports can be used as a tool for child marriage prevention campaigning.

Recently the United Nations has passed a resolution in favour of the use of sports to achieve Sustainable Development Goals. We also know that in 2001, the United Nations formed the Office on Sport for Development and Peace (SDP). That initiative shows the importance of sports in a development perspective and endorsement by the United Nations. Indeed, in 2017, the United Nations closed the SDP office and transferred that responsibility to the IOC but still, the world has adopted sports as a tool for development.

Now, I will take a look at how the sport is an effective tool for child marriage prevention advocacy:

  1. Sports has great mobilisation power that is essential for child marriages prevention campaigns and sports events could be used as a platform to spread awareness.
  2. Sports empower girls by increasing confidence and hope factor. In addition, sports like martial arts and taekwondo teach girls self-defence techniques.
  3. It improves the mental and physical health of young girls that helps them to overcome trauma in their lives.
  4. Sports is a right (accepted by the United Nations) and teaches how to give rights in life.
  5. Sports teach leadership skills and that can give birth to a new, powerful and empowered personality.
  6. Playing sports also prevents options of early age marriages.
  7. It helps to breakdown taboos and cultural barriers. Further, it helps to understand the rights of girls.
  8. We cannot generalise it but to some extent, it promotes gender equality.
  9. You learn responsibility, mutual respect, tolerance and fairness. These factors could be used to take boys’ support in child marriages campaigns.
  10. Child marriage victims could be engaged with other girls to ensure an inclusive society. Further, girls experience happiness when they play, make friends and we integrate them in the society through a sense of belonging (as a team). Moreover, being part of a team, again they learn how to trust society and peers and how to resolve conflicts.
  11. Girls can adopt sports as a career following women sports role models like Serena Williams or Maria Sharapova.

Child marriage is a global issue and an important component in the Sustainable Development Goals. 650 million women alive today married as a child and 12 million girls marry each year under the age of 18. The most affected countries are Niger, Central African Republic, and Chad respectively the ratio is 76%, 68% and 67%.

The seriousness of the issue demands the use of effective tools like sports to change things, which are unchanged.

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Published

Friday, February 8, 2019 - 14:03

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