Norway’s First Child Wedding Arranged To Prevent Underage Marriages
Thea is 12 years old and this Saturday she plans to marry her 37-year-old fiancé Geir.
Since this is Norway’s first official child wedding, the event has completely shocked the public.
“Hey! My name is Thea and I’m 12 years old. I am getting married in one month!”
Thea writes a blog in which she documents her unusual story and her dreams about married life. The wedding blog became Norway’s most read blog over the course of one day.
Naturally, many people contacted child welfare authorities and the police in order to stop the ceremony from happening. Since then, a lot of people have started the debate about underage marriages on social networks.
However shocked you may be, don’t worry – Thea’s story isn’t real. It is actually part of a campaign by children’s development charity Plan International aimed at showing the world what many children really experience: 39,000 girls are forced into marriage every day.
‘’We believe that provocation is a powerful tool in order to demonstrate a reality that truly is very provoking. We hope people will mobilize against child marriage by being girl sponsors, so that most of the girls facing Thea’s situation every day can escape their brutal fate.’’
Mabel van Oranje, Board Chair of Girls Not Brides, recently met with Norwegian NGOs to discuss the serious issue of child marriage.
“Our goal is to end child marriage in one generation. If we can keep this generation of girls out of marriage before age 18, we can be pretty sure that they will make sure that their daughters do not marry young either.”