Presentation on theme: "WOMEN'S UN REPORT NETWORK - WUNRN MARRIAGE WITHOUT CONSENT: GIRLS' & WOMEN'S HUMAN RIGHTS United Nations Human Rights Council Geneva, Switzerland."— Presentation transcript:
WOMEN'S UN REPORT NETWORK - WUNRN MARRIAGE WITHOUT CONSENT: GIRLS' & WOMEN'S HUMAN RIGHTS United Nations Human Rights Council Geneva, Switzerland
Marriage Without Consent: Girls' & Women's Human Rights *Child Marriage *Forced Marriage *Compensation Marriage *Incestual Marriage *Kidnapping Marriage *Trafficking Marriage
AFGHANISTAN - FORCED MARRIAGE - GIRL CHILD July 4, 2006 Stephanie Sinclair for The New York Times Ghulam Haider, 11, is to be married to Faiz Mohammed, 40. She had hoped to be a teacher but was forced to quit her classes when she became engaged. WUNRN
WUNRN NIGERIA - FORCED MARRIAGE CHILD BRIDE STORY Aisha Age 20, Married at 16 in Nigeria Wed to a 40-year-old man who had two wives and seven children, divorced a year later, Aisha says she has waited for the past three years for another suitor. “Truly…parents should stop early marriage. I started school but my parents did not allow me to continue and made me marry, a marriage that did not last. Parents should not bring someone to you and force you to marry him.”
WUNRN Compensation Marriages Compensation Marriages – the practice of forcing a girl into arranged marriages as compensation for a murder perpetration by a family member, to repay debts or settle other disputes – is prevalent in Pakistan’s North-West Frontier Province, Afghanistan, parts of the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa, UNFPA said, pointing out that girls in these situations often are systematically abused and becomes virtual slaves.
WUNRN COMPENSATION FORCED MARRIAGES "VANI"- ILLEGAL TRADITION PAKISTAN: Forced Child Marriage Tests Pakistan Law By Barbara Plett Sultanwala, Punjab province Abda, Amna and Sajda have threatened suicide if forced to marry Coming of age was a painful experience for the three Khan sisters. They discovered they'd been promised in marriage to their enemies when they were children, a practice in Pakistan known as vani. "When we grew up we came to know that a great injustice had been done to us," says Abda Khan, now 18. "Vani is equal to a murder. If we were to marry those boys, it would be the same as killing us.“ Vani is a tribal custom in which blood feuds are settled with forced marriages. The bride spends her life paying for the crime of her male relatives. "She's just like a slave in their house," says community activist Zia-Ullah Khan, "because she comes from the enemy's family, and the people took vani to compensate their revenge. They try to give pain to the girl and her family members.“ No one knows how many women suffer this fate in Pakistan, but anecdotal evidence suggests a lot. Few resist it. That is why anti-vani campaigners see the Khan sisters of Sultanwala in Punjab province as so important - they hope their refusal will set a precedent for others. "When this case appeared, 20 to 30 other people approached us, and they are waiting for the outcome, " says Mr Khan. "This is a test case." Vani brides The story began 14 years ago, with the girls' uncle, Mohammed Iqbal Khan. Mohammed Iqbal Khan's daughter and four nieces were betrothed He killed his cousin and went into hiding to escape a death sentence. Eventually a tribal council offered to pardon him - in exchange for the vani of his daughter and four nieces.
WUNRN ZIMBABWE - FORCED / COMPENSATION MARRIAGE FOR FOOD Faced with starvation after six years of poor harvests, Zimbabweans are resorting to centuries-old traditions of "forced marriages", known in the local Shona language as "kuzvarira", for survival. Mutare, Zimbabwe 17 May 2006 Zimbabwe: Hunger Forces Zimbabwe Girls into Forced Marriages Tariro Muchina was barely in her teens late last year when her father "sold" her off into an arranged marriage in the small-scale farming district of Nyamajura, about 250km east of the Zimbabwean capital, Harare. Twelve months down the line, the 14-year-old Muchina, who was literally dragged screaming all the way into "marriage", appears to have come to terms with her fate. "I had to leave school to marry this man despite his age... My father insisted that I do it to save my younger brothers and sisters from hunger," Muchina says, opening up only after much persuasion. Muchina is married to a balding and pot-bellied 65-year-old man who has some teeth missing but owns a grocery shop -- an immensely important factor in this hunger- and poverty-stricken community. Showing surprisingly little bitterness for someone robbed of her youth in so cruel a manner, Muchina sums up her story in just a few sentences. She says: "I would have preferred to continue with school. But we are poor and there was no money for food or anything at home. Although it [the marriage] was arranged for me, I had to agree to it. That is the only way my family could survive. In turn, my husband provides food for them.".
WUNRN Afghan Girls Traded for Debts, Blood Feuds By Farzana Wahidy, AP Nazir Ahmad said he was forced to pay a debt of less than $200 by betrothing his teenage daughter Malia, third from left. From left to right Malia's father, sister, Malia, and her mother, during an interview with Associated Press in their home in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Sunday, July 1, By Farzana Wahidy, AP Malia, 16, washes her family's clothes while her sister sits nearby at their home in Jalalabad, Afghanistan.
WUNRN LEVIRATE Encyclopedia Britannica LEVIRATE - The custom or law decreeing a dead man's brother to be the preferred, and in rare cases the mandatory, marriage partner of the widow. The term comes from the Latin levir, meaning “husband's brother.” In ancient Hebrew society, the levirate served to perpetuate the line of a man who died without offspring. In some nonliterate societies the rights and duties of the first husband…
WUNRN Malawi - Widows' Pressure for Marriage to Male of Deceased Husband's Family Wife inheritance has long been viewed as a way of providing social and financial security by ensuring that the responsibility of caring for a deceased man's wife and children remains in the family. Not all women in Mzimba have the power to refuse. UN Integrated Regional Information Networks August 23, 2006 Mzimba district in Northern Malawi has one of the country's highest HIV rates but many people still hold to the belief that wife inheritance, 'chokolo', is the only way of preventing relatives from grabbing property, leaving widows and their children destitute. "We need to deal with cultural traditions if we are to combat HIV/AIDS," said Matius Phiri, a local village leader. "Already a good number people have died here after marrying women who have lost their husbands to AIDS. It is a question of behaviour change, and whether people will accept changing their cultural traditions." Culturally, when a Malawian woman gets married she is not related to her husband, and when he dies the wife is expected to return to her family, leaving the property to her husband's relatives. After Christina Nyirenda lost her husband to an AIDS-related illness in 1996, her husband's relatives urged her to marry her brother-in-law. "I refused because I knew I would be spreading the virus," she said. Not all women in Mzimba have the power to refuse. Wife inheritance has long been viewed as a way of providing social and financial security by ensuring that the responsibility of caring for a deceased man's wife and children remains in the family.
WUNRN "PLEASURE MARRIAGES" REGAIN POPULARITY IN IRAQ By Rick Jervis, USA TODAY BAGHDAD — In the days when it could land him in jail, Rahim Al-Zaidi would whisper details of his muta'a only to his closest confidants and the occasional cousin. Never his wife. Rahim Al-Zaidi, who is married with five children, is awaiting permission for his third 'pleasure marriage.' By Rick Jervis, USA TODAY Al-Zaidi hopes to soon finalize his third muta'a, or "pleasure marriage," with a green-eyed neighbor. This time, he talks about it openly and with obvious relish. Even so, he says, he probably still won't tell his wife. The 1,400-year-old practice of muta'a— "ecstasy" in Arabic — is as old as Islam itself. It was permitted by the prophet Mohammed as a way to ensure a respectable means of income for widowed women. Pleasure marriages were outlawed under Saddam Hussein but have begun to flourish again. The contracts, lasting anywhere from one hour to 10 years, generally stipulate that the man will pay the woman in exchange for sexual intimacy. Now some Iraqi clerics and women's rights activists are complaining that the contracts have become less a mechanism for taking care of widows than an outlet for male sexual desires. The renaissance of the pleasure marriage coincides with a revival of other Shiite traditions long suppressed by the former regime. Interest in Shiite customs has accelerated since Shiite parties swept Jan. 30 elections to become the biggest bloc in the new National Assembly. "Under Saddam, we were very scared," says Al-Zaidi, 39, a lawyer from Sadr City, a sprawling Shiite neighborhood in eastern Baghdad. "They would punish people. Now, all my friends are doing it." Rahim Al-Zaidi, who is married with five children, is awaiting permission for his third 'pleasure marriage.'
WUNRN 20 November 2007 INDIA-Incest Marriage-Father & Daughter Age 15-Angry Villagers By Subir Bhaumik BBC News, Calcutta A Muslim who married his 15-year-old daughter and made her pregnant had to be rescued from angry villagers in the Indian state of West Bengal, police say Afazuddin Ali, 36, has five children - three of them daughters. A few months ago Ali married his eldest daughter, telling his wife Sakina that Allah had ordained him to do so. Not convinced by his story, his angry neighbours in Kasiajhiora village nearly lynched him for what they said was a clear case of incest. Marriage within the nuclear family is forbidden in Islam. 'Divine sanction' "He is a deeply religious man and will never lie in the name of Allah," Sakina told a court in the northern district of Jalpaiguri. "I agreed to his marriage with our eldest daughter when he invoked divine sanction," she said. But this story has failed to impress the other villagers. "We didn't know she was married so when we confronted his wife, she told us about the bizarre marriage six months ago," Sheikh Ramzan, a village leader at Kasiajhiora, said. "We wanted to smash his head, we were so angry." When the angry mob attacked Ali on Sunday, a police team went to the village and rescued Ali and his wife. The couple were produced before a magistrate in Jalpaiguri on Monday. But as the lower court has no criminal jurisdiction, Ali and his wife were released. "The police have not lodged any specific charge against Afazuddin (Ali) and my court has no jurisdiction over criminal matters, so what can I do," sub-divisional officer Atanu Roy said. Angry villagers say that is not good enough. "The girl is a minor, so at the very least her father should face criminal charges for marrying a minor," villager Sheikh Ramzan said.
WUNRN "Age of Consent" Interpol said it had asked member countries to supply information on their own national laws on sex and marriage to help identify abuse where it occurs. UNICEF said it had a zero tolerance policy to the sexual exploitation of children "however and whenever it occurred“. "Regardless of the age of consent, the age of protection against sexual exploitation ought to extend to all those under 18 in all national and extraterritorial legislation." What is a 'right' age of consent? By Laura Smith-Spark BBC News Online In the UK, the age of sexual consent for women has been set at 16 since 1885, when campaigners fought to raise it from 13 to prevent child prostitution. AGE OF CONSENT AROUND THE WORLD Argentina - 15 Bahamas - 16 Canada - 14 Colombia - male 14, female 12 India - 18 Indonesia - male 19, female 16 Hungary - 14 Peru - male 14, female 12 Tunisia - 20 UK - 16 US - federal age 16 Nations across the world have set the legal age for sexual consent at anything from 12 to 20.
WUNRN Via World Vision International & Good News Agency Newsletter India - Child Brides Can Declare Their Marriage Void by Reena T Samuel - World Vision India Communications Girls under the age of 18 who are married without their consent will now be able to declare the marriage void, after the Indian Cabinet amended child marriage laws. The amendments will give girls the option of leaving a marriage without being treated as a divorcee in the eyes of the law. According to the amendments, husbands will still be bound to pay maintenance. A meeting of the Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, decided to bring in Parliamentary legislation to repeal the Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929, popularly known as the Sharda Act, and introduce the Prohibition of Child Marriage Bill Sources said penal provisions have also been made stronger and the reworked legislation is likely to invite stricter punishment for those found participating in child marriage. The practice of child marriage, linked to poverty and societal attitudes, has been prevalent in the country for decades. According to the 2001 Census, nearly 35 per cent of women in India are married between 15– 18 years of age. Mr Reni Jacob, Advocacy Director, World Vision, said, “it is a good step towards abolition of child marriage. But we need to keep in mind the Indian culture and tradition, which does not allow girls to step out of marriage even in cases of child marriage. Society does not support these girls. Therefore tradition and culture also needs to change along with the law.”
WUNRN Australia: Early & Forced Marriages 18/08/2005: Australian girls as young as 14 have been flown overseas and forced to marry older men in an attempt by their families to protect them from promiscuity and Western influences at home. (The Australian) It was a tense time for staff at the Australian Embassy in Lebanon. A 14-year-old girl had shown up on the doorstep alone, with her suitcases. Through tears, she said she wanted to return home to Australia to her mother, after effectively being imprisoned at the home of her new husband's family. She revealed to embassy staff that she had arrived in Lebanon a year ago with her father, ostensibly for a holiday. But that was a ruse. Despite her protests, she was soon married to an older man, a distant cousin, in the country's traditional north. "Dad just couldn't cope with the Western nature of Australian life, the independence of Australian life," a government official familiar with the case says. "He became concerned that his daughter may be running around with boys, so he took her to Lebanon as a means of protecting her." The embassy swung into action; its staff has handled 12 cases, seven of them involving minors, in the past two years. Although the fundamentals are always the same -- Australian teenagers fleeing arranged marriages set up by their parents -- ambassador Stephanie Shwabsky says each case is different, and involves intense negotiations with local officials and families. "The cases that come to our attention are very serious. The young people involved are very upset and want our assistance and protection," Shwabsky says. Arranged marriages are an important part of many Asian, European and Middle Eastern cultures, and the practice has long existed in multicultural countries such as Australia. However, concerns have arisen that marriages are being arranged in Australia for teenagers too young for such commitments.
WUNRN UK - Father in 'Honor Killing' Found Guilty of Murder British Father Ordered His Daughter Strangled for Ending an Abusive Arranged Marriage AP Banaz Mahmod, 20, was told by her father and uncle that she shamed her family by falling in love with a man who was not her arranged husband. June 11, 2007 LONDON - A father who ordered his daughter brutally slain for falling in love with the wrong man in a so-called “honor killing” was found guilty of murder on Monday. Banaz Mahmod, 20, was strangled with a boot lace, stuffed into a suitcase and buried in a back garden. Her death is the latest in an increasing trend of such killings in Britain, home to some 1.8 million Muslims. More than 100 homicides are under investigation as potential “honor killings.” Mahmod Mahmod, 52, and his brother Ari Mahmod, 51, planned the killing during a family meeting, prosecutors told the court. Two others have pleaded guilty in the case. Two more suspects have fled the country. Sentencing is expected later this month. The men accused the young woman of shaming her family by ending an abusive arranged marriage, becoming too Westernized and falling in love with a man who didn’t come from their Iraqi village. The Kurdish family came to Britain in 1998 when Banaz Mahmod was 11. “She was my present, my future, my hope,” said Rahmat Suleimani, 29, Banaz Mahmod’s boyfriend. During the three-month trial, prosecutors said Mahmod’s father beat his daughter for using hairspray and adopting other Western ways. Her uncle once told her she would have been “turned to ashes” if she were his daughter and had shamed the family by becoming involved with the Iranian Kurd, her sister 22-year-old Bekhal Mahmod testified. Banaz Mahmod ran away from home when she was a teenager but returned when her father sent her an audio tape in which he warned he would kill her sisters, her mother and himself if she did not come home, her sister said.
WUNRN Bride Kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan This is the first film to document the custom of bride kidnapping, an ancient marriage tradition in Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet Republic in Central Asia. When a Kyrgyz man decides to marry, he often abducts the woman he has chosen. Typically, he and several friends hire a car, stake out his bride-to-be's movements, snatch her off the street, and take her to the groom's family home. A delegation is then sent to her family. The abducted woman is held until someone from her family arrives to determine whether they will accept the "proposal" and she will agree to marry her kidnapper. BRIDE KIDNAPPING documents in harrowing detail four such abductions, from the violent seizures on city streets and the tearful protests of the women, who are physically restrained and persuaded to accept their fate by the women of the groom's family, to the often tense negotiations between the respective families, and either the eventual acquiescence or continued refusal of the young women. While two of the four women accept the forced marriages and later seem happy in their new relationships, one young woman fiercely resists and is finally released hours later by her captors, while the fourth kidnapping ends tragically, with the young woman dying under mysterious circumstances. Subsequent interviews with the kidnapped brides, their families as well as their in-laws' families-sensitively conducted by the film's Kyrgyz Associate Producer, Fatima Sartbaeva-reveal both the deep cultural roots of the tradition as well as growing rejection of it in this newly independent and rapidly modernizing society, especially by young women who wish to continue their education.
WUNRN UZBEKISTAN - BRIDE STEALING Gulzabira Toreshova doesn't believe in happy marriages. She saw her husband for the first time at a friend's birthday party - by the end of the evening she had been abducted and forced to become his wife. "I didn't know him at all. The only thing I knew was what my friend told me - that he was a market trader," recalled Gulzabira. "After the party his friends grabbed me and dragged me into a car. They took me to the home of my future husband, Amanbai. I didn't even suspect what they were about to do." Gulzabira, 32, is a Karakalpak, an ethnic group which has its own "autonomous republic" in the northern deserts of Uzbekistan. Her prospective husband and his friends knew very well that Karakalpak social customs would make it well-nigh impossible for Gulzabira to return home if she was kidnapped, leaving her little choice but to marry their friend. In these wife-stealing cases, there are many reports of the future husband raping the abducted woman as a way of making the "marriage“ irreversible. The victim will then have little chance of marrying anyone else in a tightly-knit community such as the small town of Chimbay from which Gulzabira comes. Kidnapping of brides was traditional in Karakalpak society before Soviet rule, because it saved the man - especially those from poor families - from paying the high bride price known as "kalym" that is customarily required. The woman or her family would sometimes acquiesce, because the arrangement was convenient and saved face all round.
WUNRN Bride Trafficking Increases as China's Population of Single Men Soars When 16-year-old Qing Yang was kidnapped in Sichuan province last year and sold for pounds 360 to a desperate bachelor, it took her family and a private detective six months to track her down in Jiangsu province, hundreds of miles away. By then, she had been raped and forced to live as the wife of the man who bought her. Qing's story, highlighted in a BBC documentary, is all too common in China, where 'wives', mostly young girls from rural areas, can be acquired for between about pounds 500 and pounds 2,000. Despite a government crackdown on bride- trafficking that has seen some 42,000 women rescued over the past four years, many more are never found. The resurgence in the trade in wives comes as China faces an acute lack of women. So serious is the dearth of females that it is estimated that by 2020, 40 million men will be forced to remain bachelors. The shortage of women has the government scrambling to redress the balance. Under the Care for Girls programme, financial incentives are being offered to families who have daughters, helping them to pay for education and medical costs. Last week it was announced that female astronauts are to be recruited for China's space programme, in an effort to create positive female role models and reverse the traditional Chinese preference for boys over girls. 'It dates back to feudal society,' said Professor Zhu Chuzhu of Xi'an Jiaotong University, who has been studying China's gender imbalance since the mid-1990s. 'The idea that boys are more important than girls has been rooted in people's minds for thousands of years. It's difficult to change that culture, especially in rural areas where people are less educated.' The prospect of tens of millions of lonely, disgruntled single men, known in China as guang guan, or 'bare branches', is alarming the government, which fears the effect they will have on social stability. 'It will create a potential threat to national security,' said Professor Zhu. 'Too many men increases the likelihood of sexual crimes occurring. It will make the existing phenomenon of prostitution and the selling of women much worse.’
WUNRN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights Adopted and opened for signature, ratification and accession by General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966 entry into force 23 March 1976, in accordance with Article 49 Article 23 1.The family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and is entitled to protection by society and the State. 2. The right of men and women of marriageable age to marry and to found a family shall be recognized. 3. No marriage shall be entered into without the free and full consent of the intending spouses. 4. States Parties to the present Covenant shall take appropriate steps to ensure equality of rights and responsibilities of spouses as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. In the case of dissolution, provision shall be made for the necessary protection of any children.
WUNRN Full UN CEDAW Text - UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women: CEDAW Article 16 - Equality - Women - Marriage & Family Relations 1. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations and in particular shall ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women: (a) The same right to enter into marriage; (b) The same right freely to choose a spouse and to enter into marriage only with their free and full consent; (c) The same rights and responsibilities during marriage and at its dissolution; (d) The same rights and responsibilities as parents, irrespective of their marital status, in matters relating to their children; in all cases the interests of the children shall be paramount; (e) The same rights to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children and to have access to the information, education and means to enable them to exercise these rights; (f) The same rights and responsibilities with regard to guardianship, wardship, trusteeship and adoption of children, or similar institutions where these concepts exist in national legislation; in all cases the interests of the children shall be paramount; (g) The same personal rights as husband and wife, including the right to choose a family name, a profession and an occupation; (h) The same rights for both spouses in respect of the ownership, acquisition, management, administration, enjoyment and disposition of property, whether free of charge or for a valuable consideration. 2. The betrothal and the marriage of a child shall have no legal effect, and all necessary action, including legislation, shall be taken to specify a minimum age for marriage and to make the registration of marriages in an official registry compulsory.
WUNRN United Nations Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration of Marriages Opened for signature and ratification by General Assembly resolution 1763 A (XVII) of 7 November 1962 Entry into force: 9 December 1964, in accordance with article 6 The Contracting States, Desiring, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations, to promote universal respect for, and observance of, human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, without distinction as to race, sex, language or religion, Recalling that article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that: (1) Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. (2) Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses, Recalling further that the General Assembly of the United Nations declared, by resolution 843 (IX) of 17 December 1954, that certain customs, ancient laws and practices relating to marriage and the family were inconsistent with the principles set forth in the Charter of the United Nations and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Reaffirming that all States, including those which have or assume responsibility for the administration of Non-Self-Governing and Trust Territories until their achievement of independence, should take all appropriate measures with a view to abolishing such customs, ancient laws and practices by ensuring, inter alia, complete freedom in the choice of a spouse, eliminating completely child marriages and the betrothal of young girls before the age of puberty, establishing appropriate penalties where necessary and establishing a civil or other register in which all marriages will be recorded, Hereby agree as hereinafter provided: Article 1 1. No marriage shall be legally entered into without the full and free consent of both parties, such consent to be expressed by them in person after due publicity and in the presence of the authority competent to solemnize the marriage and of witnesses, as prescribed by law.
WUNRN Report of the 51st session of the Commission on the Status of Women PLEASE CLICK TO WEBSITE LINK and SCROLL to REPORT. UN Commission on the Status of Women Report - 51st Session – Resolution 51/3 Forced Marriage of the Girl Child
WUNRN Resolution 1468 (2005) 1 1 Forced Marriages and Child Marriages 1. The Parliamentary Assembly is deeply concerned about the serious and recurrent violations of human rights and the rights of the child which are constituted by forced marriages and child marriages. 2. The Assembly observes that the problem arises chiefly in migrant communities and primarily affects young women and girls. 3. It is outraged by the fact that, under the cloak of respect for the culture and traditions of migrant communities, there are authorities which tolerate forced marriages and child marriages although they violate the fundamental rights of each and every victim. 4. The Assembly defines forced marriage as the union of two persons at least one of whom has not given their full and free consent to the marriage. 5. Since it infringes the fundamental human rights of the individual, forced marriage can in no way be justified. 6. The Assembly stresses the relevance of United Nations General Assembly Resolution 843 (IX) of 17 December 1954 declaring certain customs, ancient laws and practices relating to marriage and the family to be inconsistent with the principles set forth in the Charter of the United Nations and in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 7. The Assembly defines child marriage as the union of two persons at least one of whom is under 18 years of age. HomeHome | Portail de l'Assemblée en français | Extranet | Council of Europe | SearchPortail de l'Assemblée en françaisExtranetCouncil of EuropeSearch
WUNRN Direct Link to Report: Forced Marriages in Council of Europe Member States A Comparative Study of Legislation and Political Initiatives
WUNRN Girl Child Dreams Your Dreams Little One We Are Standing All Around You Your Fears And Trials Will Also Be Ours You Will Walk With The Courage Of Woman Worldwide We Will Speak When You Cannot We Will Gather When You Are Still We Are Here To Serve You Girl Child You Will Grow Into A Woman Girl Child Dream Your Dreams We Will Carry Them With Our Song And Dance And Voice You Are A Girl Child And We Surround You With Love Whether We Are Seen Or Heard Or By Your Side, We Are Here The Circle Surrounds You Girl Child Stand Tall When You Fall, We Will Wait When You Falter We Will Prod You Are Supported By Millions Always Know This, Always Remember You Are A Girl Child, In The Time That Is Now This Is A Blessing Take This Into Your Heart Girl Child, Stand Tall Be Not Afraid Of Being Pretty, Smart, Powerful or Plain You Are An Earthly Goddess So Hard It Has Been For So Many Let Us Walk Together We Shall Tell Our Stories You Will Hear Our Plight And Learn Now Girl Child Go Forward You Are Released >From The Terrors Of The Night Yours Is A Life Of Brightness The Darkness Has Turned To Dawn The Dreams You Hold Within Your Heart Allow Them To Come Forward They Have Been Nourished With The Water Of Life Girl Child Let Go And Know, Your Elegant Spirit Is So Bright And Strong Let Go And Know Let Go And Know Copyright Joana Ukali 2007 All Rights Reserved