Education resources on forced marriage

Written by Nora Helal, Education Workshops Volunteer

One in three girls are married before the age of 18 in the developing world. In fact, across Burkina Faso, more than half of all young girls are married off as children – some as young as 11. Most of these marriages are forced arrangements which have dire consequences for the health, safety, educational opportunities and human rights of the girls and women involved.

Amnesty International continues to work with parents, teachers and traditional leaders in countries such as Burkina Faso to offer an alternative vision for the future – a future where a girl’s choice is truly her own.

To help with lessons on Forced Marriages, we compiled a list of resources for use in primary and secondary schools across the UK.

1. Freedom Charity: Forced Marriage Lesson Plans

The PSHE Lesson plan for schools, for ages 10 to 18. The PHSE Association describe the lesson plans, which include material on female genital mutilation (FGM), as a ‘very clear and focused approach to two sensitive yet vital subjects’.

Freedom Charity provides an excellent educational package including safeguarding training for teachers and staff, and access to PSHE Association-accredited lesson plans on Forced Marriage and FGM and informative posters. You can also request assemblies and workshops to be delivered by the author and founder of Freedom Charity, Aneeta Prem, writer of “But It’s Not Fair”.

The Freedom Charity App 
is also now available.

2. Home Office: Forced Marriages Resources List

The “Right to Choose” campaign videos on the impact of forced marriages and how to spot the signs, are available here and can accompany both classroom and workshop activities.

This resource list includes three animated documentaries about forced marriages in Pakistan.

3. Amnesty International: Write for Rights

Amnesty International’s ‘Write for Rights’ campaign for young activists offers the case study Burkina Faso: girls forced into marriage, with different writing activities to take action against forced marriage and FGM.

4. Plan UK: Forced Marriages Schools Resource Pack

This lesson plan sets out to teach students about the cultural context of forced marriages and the possible long-term impact they can have. The resource includes a 10 minute animation, “Sazia’s story”, a teacher’s presentation and accompanying information sheet.

5. Glasgow Life: Forced Marriage Learning Resource

This useful resource guide provides community learning workers, teachers, youth workers and social workers with theoretical materials, relevant background information and resources to complement the “No Dowry, No Date” DVD.

6. TES: Marking the Distinction

“Need to Know” is a sensitive and informative short film to accompany a lesson plan on Forced Marriages that clarifies an important difference between arranged and forced marriages.

7. Documentary: In the Words of Sameem Ali

This moving documentary tells the story of a young girl forced to marry a man she hardly knew at the age of 13. She manages to escape her abusive family and has now become an inspiring author and brave advocate against the issue of forced marriage. This documentary is suitable for Key stages 3 and 4.

8. CBBC: Forced Marriages

This PSHE lesson plan, suitable for 11-14/KS3/Levels E&F, outlines interactive classroom activities which include navigating the distinction between arranged and forced marriages. Pupils can participate in a role playing exercise to further deepen their understanding of forced marriages.

Getting more information and help

Forced Marriage is a harmful and violating practice that affects thousands of women and girls around the world. To get more information about and from those who have experienced it, visit Girls Not Brides. In addition, if you, or someone you know, have been directly affected by any of the content or if teachers and education professionals have any shared concerns, you can directly contact Karma Nirvana for additional specialist support, help and advice.

About Amnesty UK Blogs
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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