“Stand Up, Speak Out” was a pilot training seminar held by the Women Advocacy Project (WAP) and its international partner Girls Not Brides (GNB), a civil society organization committed to ending child marriage and enabling girls to reach their greatest potentials. The training sought to understand the needs of young women and girls affected by child marriage in Zimbabwe.
24 girls between the ages of 17 and 24 attended this training, many of whom were teachers and students from the University of Zimbabwe and Upper Valley College, and local high schools. Six of the participants were already victims of early child marriage.
The training focused on helping the participants to understand the meaning of child marriage, what perpetuates the practice, what its consequences are, and of course, how it can be prevented and mitigated. Each participant was given a manual from GNB that provided information and tips in how to become leaders in the fight against child marriage. The girls at the training brainstormed ways in which they could solve this problem together, and how they themselves could be agents of change in their own communities. We expect that this training session will expand leadership within affected communities in Zimbabwe. The program will significantly contribute to the reduction of early child mortality and domestic violence, as well as the increase in education through awareness raising, capacity building, and knowledge sharing.