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One song at a time, Sonita, an Afghan rapper leaves her advocacy message against the ills of the girl-child marriage.

When Sonita Alizadeh was 10, her parents tried to marry her off. They were unsuccessful, but when she became a teenager they tried again. What they didn’t know was that in the meantime Sonita had discovered her passion for rap music. After the second attempt by her mother a few years ago, she recorded a music video about child marriage that captured the world’s attention. Now a student at Wasatch Academy in the United States, she continues to advocate for ending child marriage.

sonita

 

Read her inspiring message below, as she talks about why daughters should not be for sale.

“To the 28 girls who will be forced to marry in the next 60 seconds, please know that I am working to bring about big change. Please have hope.

When a young girl is forced to marry, she loses so many important things: she loses her childhood, her family and her hope. She can’t see or feel any support. She feels entirely alone.

I know this because that could have been me. And many of my friends became child brides.

Child brides are touched and forced to do things that they don’t want to do. This is a kind of abuse. 

If I had gotten married, my whole life would be different. I am still a teenager, and I would have so many problems. I would probably have many children by now, and my whole life would be lived inside my home. I wouldn’t be able to think about my future. Also, when you’re forced to marry, you don’t have any good feelings about your husband. Child brides are touched and forced to do things that they don’t want to do. This is a kind of abuse.  

Thankfully, I found a way out. Now I am free. I have the right to make my own decisions and build my own future. Right now, the three most important things in my life are school, my music and working to end child marriage. I hope that all of these things will continue far into my future.  

In many countries there are laws against child marriage. Laws are important, and countries need to make sure child marriage is not legal. But in many places nobody actually listens to the laws; they listen to tradition. They don’t like change, and they want to be like the generations before them.  

So we need to help people change their perceptions and understand new ways of living and new traditions. We have to get community leaders to speak out against child marriage, and we need families to make different decisions for their daughters.  

I work to do this through my music. Girls need to have hope for their future, even if it is hard. If a girl loses hope, she’ll feel dead inside, and this is the worst thing.

Listen to her music…

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