Faith to combat violence against women

Nepal: A curse of hate and superstition

Lama was a teenager when she married. Her husband was a good friend. Marrage also meant escape from living with an alcoholic father. “I was only 16 years old when I ran away from home to marry him,” Lama remembers. Marriage bliss lasted until she gave birth to two baby girls. Her husband behaved indifferently towards her and the children, tortured her psychologically and beat her.
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Indonesia: Inter-religious collaboration to end violence

Seventeen percent of Indonesian girls are under 18 when they marry. There is a strong movement now in favour of raising the age-limit for marriage from 16 to 18, which would make fewer girls dependent at an early age. This, in turn, may reduce the risk of exposure to domestic violence and allow for better education. UNICEF has already established an experimental collaboration with the Protestant Evangelical Church in Timor (GMIT) and more partnerships are welcomed.
At a global level, a partnership between the World Council of Churches and UNICEF has recently been developed. For its implementation, Indonesia has been selected as a pilot country: “The context of Indonesia is conducive to seeing tangible results through efforts of churches at grassroots levels. Indonesia also provides an excellent environment for inter-religious collaboration to end violence against children”, explains Frederique Seidel, special advisor on child rights at the WCC. “Local church congregations play a critical role in reaching the most vulnerable children with protection measures”, Seidel says. Indonesia has one of the world’s highest reported rates of physical violence at school, according to the Global School-based Student Health Survey (GSHS) from 2007. “Initiatives to end violence against children, are crucial in order to respond to this reality”, concludes Seidel. To ensure that children can grow up in environments free of violence requires efforts on both the local level and a policy level.


Empowering girls by story telling
Campaign to stop child marriage
Animasi Usia Anak (Child marriage Animation)
Stop Perkawinan Anak
Inspiration by mothers and foremothers
Koalisi 18: Stop Pernikahan Anak di Bawah Umur

More Videos

Courage speaks (Keberanian berbicara)
video on facebook

Written on computer screen:
I tried to be brave. This is a story that is not to be boastful. This is a story of my fear to express love. Leukemia has claimed my sister’s life. She chose a different path, chose a religion she believes.

Younger sister: Yesterday I bought a mukena (prayer outfit for women) for you, big sister (kak).
Big sister: Thank you. Ah, I’ve been too long in the hospital.
Younger sister: Big sister, wait.
Younger sister: Can you tell about mom? Was her cooking good?
Did she tell you stories before you slept?
I want to get healed, so mom’s sacrifice will not be in vain.
Sister, I’m afraid.
Whenever I remember mom, I always feel guilty.
If I were not been born, maybe you might still meet mom.
You know that I never want to celebrate birthdays, don’t you? But today I want to celebrate your birthday, even though we should celebrate it next month.

Written on computer screen:
One thousand peaceful messages might not be able to change the world, but one sincerity certainly speaks.


Song: stop child marriage campaign
video on facebook

Mom: Please, have pity on your mom, nduk (daughter). I am a single mother. I don’t have money to support you. You, get married soon! See this is what I’m doing to earn money to feed both of us. Don’t you have slightest pity on me?
Daughter: But, mom, I still want to go to school. I am still a child. And you want to marry me off?
Mom: Going to school? What for? Going to school is useless. If you don’t have money, you cannot become an employee. You have to be thankful that someone wants to marry you. If you still consider me as your mom, you have to do what I say. If you don’t want to, you can go out now!

Child marriage should not occur.
At young age, we should look for knowledge.
Father, mother, why did you force me to get married on that day?
I regretted why it should happen!
Child marriage should not occur.
At young age, we should look for knowledge.
Father, mother, why did you force me to get married on that day?
I have to always endure desperate cries at the moment I married at young age.
Father, mother, why did you force me to get married on that day?
I have to always endure desperate cries at the moment I married at young age.
Time cannot change as it was before.



Pray for the work of Gender and Faith Networks in Indonesia.

Recall the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Right to Education enshrined in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.
Contact members of your city council and/or your national parliament and call on them to ensure the right to free, compulsory primary education for all, an obligation to develop secondary education accesible to all and equitable access to higher education.


Additional resources and information

Mission 21 - Women's Letter:
- about a girl who did not want to get married pdf
- la jeune fille qui ne voulait pas se marier pdf
- La niña que no quería casarse pdf
- Tentang seorang gadis yang tidakmau menikah pdf
- Vom Mädchen, das nicht heiraten wollte pdf
Jakarta Post: The Story of Neng Dara: Fighting for gender justice
Islamic Relief: Faith to combat violence against women
Pulitzer Centre: Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country in the world, has one of the highest abortion rates in the world. As reproductive health professionals, policy-makers and politicians wrestle with the implications of this, a spirited debate within Muslim religious circles on family planning and reproductive health has led to some surprising outcomes.
UNESCO: Gender Justice Education for Marginalised Women
UNDP: Promote gender equality and promote women
Interviews from Indonesia pdf