Norway's "First Child Wedding" Is Actually A Viral Campaign To Stop Child Marriage
This is some pretty crafty online marketing.
This is Thea, aged 12.
On Saturday, she's going to marry her 37-year-old fiancé, Geir.
Here she is trying out cakes for the wedding...
...and trying out flowers, and getting her make-up and hair done.
Needless to say...
...this isn't really happening. Thea's site actually links through to a campaign by Plan International.
We believe that provocation is a powerful tool in order to demonstrate a reality that truly is very provoking. We hope people will mobilise against child marriage by being girl sponsors, so that most of the girls facing Thea's situation every day can escape their brutal fate.
The charity points out on its website that most child marriages happen in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa: "In several countries in West Africa and in Bangladesh, two-thirds of girls are married before age 18."
It goes on to say:
Child marriage lies at the intersection of a broad set of problems facing girls. The practice violates girls' human rights, curtails their education, harms their health, and sharply constrains their futures. Girls who marry early are most often deprived of the opportunity to reach their full potential and rise out of poverty.