To be Wed…

I admit it, I’m a Royal watcher. I fully realize that this is contrary to my semi-radical “activism” -which pretty much consists of seeing U2 in concert over eight times and in no less than two countries- on behalf of my Northern Irish brethren. I can’t help myself though and like with many other things in life… I blame my mother!

When Charles and Diana got married mom made it a big to-do for us. It was magical. It sparked a life-long fascination with Diana that has extended to her sons. In the spirit of not breaking the cycle I’m making an equally big to-do about Wills and Kate’s wedding for my kids. In fact it’s such a soiree that you can read about it in the New York Times (online now) in print THIS SUNDAY!

I’m so excited for the Royal wedding it’s something I maybe should be discussing with my therapist. Then again she’s got her hands full trying to work through my Harry Potter “issues”. I will also admit to a bit of melancholy about the event. See now the only choice for my daughters will be Harry and let’s face it that kid got more Winsdor than Spencer from the gene pool. Though as choices go, my girls are lucky. There are millions of girls out there who have no choice when it comes to marriage.

One of the good things about having your blog is you can use it to prattle on about silly stuff like Royal weddings, bad days , your strange obsession with weatherman Bob Van Dillen or the great peanut controversy. You can also use it to give a voice to those who don’t have one of their own. Next week, as the world, my kids and I sit in wrapped attention, oooh-ing and ahhh-ing over cathedral length trains and glass carriages there will be a different sort of wedding taking place outside of the spotlight and against the will of the bride. A girl -girls in fact- as young as my twelve year old daughter -and younger- will be forced into marriage. For them there will be no pomp and panache, no fairytale come true. They will enter the land of nightmares where innocence is robbed and no one cares to hear your tears in the night.

Child Marriage sounds like something from an old book, something that once happened but has long since fallen out of favor. The sad fact is that is still happens. There are places in this ‘modern’ world where it’s not only accepted but acceptable to force girls under the age of fifteen to become women far too early. On top of this trauma these girls then face odds nearly insurmountable. Often this marriage robs them of their shot at an education as well as their innocence. It puts them in one of the highest risk categories for HIV/AIDs and increases both the likelihood that they will live in poverty and possibly die during childbirth. This breaks my heart. I look at my daughters and can’t comprehend this. Every girl deserves to find her Prince Charming not be forced to marry someone before she even knows what it is to be a woman.

This is why I’ve chosen to use my blog and join the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up Campaign to finally put an end to the systematic abuse of young girls through the practice of child marriage.

I’m not alone either. Joining me are fashion photographer Nigel Barker, actress Victoria Justice, the unbelievably awesome Ivanka Trump (I’ve got a total girl crush on her! Dad.. um not-so-much) and THOUSANDS girls across the world. We have all lent our voices in asking the Obama administration to focus efforts to end child marriage in places like Ethiopia, Malawi and Guatemala. We have chosen to GIRL UP and champion these young women so they will no longer  be forced into adulthood before they are ready! Join us by signing this petition consider it your NO wedding gift, a gift that allows girls to dream of being Kate.. in the big dress and glass carriage, college diploma in hand and childhood memories to cherish.

11 thoughts on “To be Wed…”

  1. I’m signing the petition and will urge my readers and followers to get behind this too. As a mother of two girls, the safety of other little girls around the world really hits home. Every young woman deserves a marriage and love on her terms and consent, no matter her cultural background.
    Jessica McFadden – A Parent in Silver Spring´s last blog post ..Guest Post- Family Hiking 101 – Join the Hike on Sunday May 15

  2. I am signing the petition today, as a woman and a mother of a teenage daughter I can’t imagine the heartache and confusion that these young women go through.
    We believe that we have come soooo far in Women’s rights and we have, however, there is so much more to do. I will post this on my Facebook and email friends hoping for them to respond. Sometimes it feels overwhelming but Together each one of us can make a difference, “Strength in Numbers Ladies, Let’s DO this”

  3. The thought of young girls being forced into marriage breaks my heart. Much like the genital mutilation practices of some cultures I cannot stand by and blindly condone it by staying silent. I will gladly sign the petition and share this article on Facebook. Thank you Lara for speaking out for those who can’t.
    Sunday´s last blog post ..Stokke Tripp Trapp Giveaway!

  4. Signed the petition! I have a total girl crush on Ivanka too, but an even bigger crush on your for this fabulous post. I hadn’t heard of Girl Up before this: so glad to support the cause now! : )

  5. SOLD! you had be at “activism” and you know my heart bleeds nonstop. i’m proud to sign this and support you and this incredible effort. i echo sunday in thanking you for using your voice for those who cannot… yet.

  6. Thanks for bringing this cause to our attention! Saw some of this first hand on our recent travels and didn’t know what to do or where to go to lend a voice of objection.

  7. thanks for sharing Lara…
    EVERY YOUNG (or not that young) girl should have the right to marry for love and whom they want….marriage is not super easy..so yikes! on top of that being forced to get married…dislike!!!

  8. Lara-
    Thank for sharing this. It is wonderful that you were approached to spread this important message. Many people don’t realize this still happens because it is so far removed from the life they live.

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