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Ways You Can Help End Child Marriage in India

On this International Day of the Girl Child, we at The Knot Worldwide fortified our Global Partnership with VOW; and pledged efforts to end child marriage by 2030.

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11th October has been marked annually as the The International Day of the Girl Child by the United Nations. At the Knot Worldwide, we continue observing the International Day of the Girl Child in support of the United Nations. Our ever growing family of brands across 15 countries is honoured to help millions of couples plan their weddings and find the best wedding pros for the most important celebrations of their life. But according to the National Family Health Survey (NFHS) 2015-16, 27% of girls in India are married before they turn 18 years old and India continues to have the highest absolute number of child brides in the world (over 15 million). These weddings are not a celebration - they mostly mark the end of a beginning for little girls who aspire to be so much more than just a man's 'baalika vadhu'. The number of child marriages in India is expected to rise significantly due to the devastating impact that COVID-19 is having on girls everywhere.

In India, several families consider girls to be ‘paraya dhan’, meaning that a girl’s only purpose is to benefit her husband’s family and that when she comes of age, she has to be sent away for the same which means we should not keep them around for too long. When it comes to education, the sons in a family are given priority over daughters as they are primarily seen as caregivers to their ageing parents and expected to assume domestic responsibilities. However, child marriage erodes basic human rights extended to children, particularly girls, and derails their lives and hampers their future opportunities. Hence, WeddingWire India, a part of The Knot Worldwide, stands with VOW to cease child marriage and injustice towards girls in India, and across the world. It is time that they get their equal share and we end this discriminatory inhuman practice,” shares Ankur Sarawagi, India Country Head, The Knot Worldwide. 

This day aims to help girls across the world live free from gender-based violence, HIV and AIDS and is dedicated to raising awareness about gender inequality. The Knot Worldwide aims to help girls access to education, nutrition, legal rights, medical care, protection against violence and forced child marriage. 2020 marks the third year for The Knot Worldwide’s association with VOW To End Child Marriage (VOW) and bring the wedding industry together and collectively bolster their mission to end child marriage by 2030.

The institute of child marriage is never a decision that a girl gets to make. In most parts of India, the decision is made for her by her parents/relatives and she is forced into tying the knot with an elderly man either to pay off her parents' debts or because the family thinks that a girl is born to complete her man's life. We want every girl in India to be able to choose if, when and whom she wants to marry - without the sickening pressure of her parents or relatives who are willing to choke the girl's dreams and aspirations. 

Join us and VOW in its mission to end child marriage. Be sure to follow @vowforgirls on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

Here are 3 ways to get involved and help end child marriage:

1. Sign up to be a VOW Pro

VOW Pro is now working with wedding professionals to help create awareness and raise funds to stop child marriage. Interested professionals/experts are committing to VOW by aligning their products and services with VOW. Wedding professionals can also participate in VOW fundraising activities throughout the year, and promoting their commitment to VOW through their own marketing and communications efforts. Learn more about becoming a VOW Pro.

2. Donate directly to VOW

Donate here to make a difference in the lives of little girls. All funds raised by VOW will be directed to the Girls First Fund, supporting local organisations that are working to stand up for girls’ rights and prevent child marriage.

3. Spread the word on social media using #VowForGirls

Help us bring awareness to the issue of child marriage by showing your support on social media. Post this video on International Day of the Girl (October 11) and encourage your colleagues, friends family and couples to follow VOW and its latest efforts to end child marriage!
Here’s a sample post you can share:
"Do you vow to help end the 12 million child marriages that happen every year? #DayOfTheGirl is happening on Sunday, October 11. I’m proud to support @VowForGirls to help end child marriage. You can help too by visiting #VowForGirls "
We are in this together. Are you? Follow @weddingwireindia on Instagram, write to or drop your comments below to tell us how you are adding to this cause.