Campaign seeks to give child brides in Sudan, India, and Nepal an annulment

When Anya Maizes heard the horror stories from child brides she decided to do something about it. She first saw the suffering of wives who were forced into marrying minors when she visited Papua…

Campaign seeks to give child brides in Sudan, India, and Nepal an annulment

When Anya Maizes heard the horror stories from child brides she decided to do something about it. She first saw the suffering of wives who were forced into marrying minors when she visited Papua New Guinea as a Peace Corps volunteer. One particularly poignant incident occurred when Maizes met a woman whose nine-year-old son had been accused of stealing two bars of soap. Her husband had shot him dead and then ordered his wife to cut off his heart. Maizes was so disturbed by the story that she started Save our Sisters, a campaign aimed at helping child brides get an annulment, because it is almost impossible to do.

“We realized that the desire for an annulment was very strong,” Maizes says. “We knew that if we could make the procedure as easy as possible, people would come forward.”

In 2016, Maizes set up an online petition that is now signed by at least 4,000 women, young girls and men all around the world who believe that an annulment is the best way for victims to avoid a forced marriage. This week, the government of Britain, the Netherlands and Norway are expected to vote on a draft law that will make it easier for women to get an annulment. Maizes is hopeful that the new laws will help free children from their “modern-day bondage.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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