Every donation matched £1 for £1: Join the Revolution against FGM and Child Marriage
Can you imagine yourself as a child, forced to marry a man more than twice your age? What about being forced to have your genitals cut?
For young girls in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone, this isn’t imaginary – it is their reality.
But they’re standing up and saying no, and we’re urging you to do the same.
We’re working with communities in both countries – in schools to ensure every girl knows her rights, and amongst parents and traditional leaders so that they speak up for girls’ rights and commit to ending child marriage and FGM.
Doubling your impact
Until 18 July for every £1 you donate, the Department for International Development (DfID) will also donate £1 – doubling the impact.
'By doubling donations to Amnesty International’s Revolution appeal, we will empower thousands of girls to make their own choices by working with communities to increase their understanding of the harm these acts can cause, report incidents when they occur, and ultimately abandon them.'
- Nick Hurd, International Development Minister
With the money raised through this appeal, we’ll expand our education programmes across the two West African countries – with the aim of dramatically reducing the risk of FGM for over 8,000 young girls and that of forced marriage for more than 7,000.
'All girls should be given their right to live a full and free childhood, without fear of violence or being taken from their families and everything they know.
We know that young girls and their communities in Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone are already standing up and saying ‘no’ to these practices. They want a say in what happens to their bodies and their lives. We want to support their revolution and urge the British public to do the same.'
- Rosie Chinchen, Amnesty International UK’s Director of Fundraising
Why Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone?
Child marriage is a reality for thousands of girls in these countries, with devastating consequences. These girls are at greater risk of domestic and sexual violence, early pregnancy and life-threatening complications in childbirth. Often, they are taken out of school and denied an education.
While the law outright bans FGM in Burkina Faso, the practice is still widespread. Likewise, the Sierra Leone Parliament approved a nationwide ban of the practice during the Ebola outbreak, but the law has yet to be implemented.
A 2013 Unicef report found 88% of women and girls in Sierra Leone had been subjected to FGM, 76% in Burkina Faso. This places both countries among the top ten worst affected globally.
Our human rights education programmes include work in schools, advertising on the radio and public theatre, as well as community-led discussions and human rights education sessions. Through these we hope both to empower girls to stand up against the abusive practices, and to gain the crucial support among parents and community and religious leaders.
Amnesty International Burkina Faso’s Human Rights Education Coordinator Moussa Ouédraogo works with hundreds of girls and boys in schools across Burkina Faso. He told us
'Throughout my work, I meet many women and girls who don’t know they have human rights. To their minds, rights are for men only. If we succeed in teaching them that as a human being you are entitled to your human rights, no matter what your sex, race or religion may be, that is the starting point of our work.’
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.