Child, and Early, Forced Marriage (CEFM)
Last time I wrote on this I received an email asking whether it was, 'Right and fitting for a man of the cloth to be talking about such things?'
Now I can understand that there are some sensitivities regarding this issue but the final shot in their mail hit me like a brick wrapped in a page of the Bible: 'Especially when it has nothing directly to do with the place you are and our own country!'
Nothing to do with our own country?
Estimates suggest that some 170,000 women and girls living in England and Wales have undergone FGM.
Take a look at the numbers and stop and think for a moment of the number of women who are affected by this act and then tell me that we can ignore it because the UK isn't on it! The numbers alone (and of course the girls taken 'back home' to experience first hand FGM) make this something that needs to acted against - and it's an education not boots on the ground situation so it's totally clean.
Now we are not thinking of young women how have fallen in love and run away to Gretna Green, there's nothing much to do with the idea of 'love. In fact mutual consent doesn't come into it at all for this is, generally, about women:
- who are sold because the family can't afford to feed all the children and so the, low or non-earning, girls are given (or sold) into marriage.
- who, being worth less than their male counterparts are treated as objects and regarded with a lower status and CEFM only confirms and fuels this wrong attitude.
- who are subjected to something that is contrary to the Universal declaration of Human Rights in that:
To quote the Universal Declaration of Human Right (1948):
'Marriage should be ‘entered only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses’.
If it isn't it's wrong
Please stop and think about these two issues - real issues of equality and concern - that affect this nation of ours and many who reside in it - and far too many worldwide (one is one too many!).