After participating in a Her Turn workshop, 13-year-old Sushila knew all about the effects of child marriage. But that didn’t stop her family from marrying her off to an older man a few months later. “I was upset and afraid,” Sushila said, explaining the social pressure to marry and the threats she received from her new husband’s family. Just knowing about the impacts of early forced marriage was not enough for Sushila, a child, to take a stand.
But Her Turn could. Because they knew Sushila from the workshop, Her Turn’s Girl Support Committee was able to stage an intervention. Today, Sushila is divorced and back in school. In a country where 41% of girls marry before they turn 18, Sushila is one of the lucky ones.
Her Turn equips Nepali girls and young women with leadership skills, education, and knowledge to reject early forced marriage, domestic violence, sexual violence, and trafficking. And because that sometimes isn’t enough, Her Turn’s Girl Support Committees also collaborate with schools, NGOs, and local governments to advocate on behalf of girls like Sushila. Mentors work with cohorts of girls in local schools to teach sexual and reproductive health as well as physical and emotional safety. This year, a grant from The MATCH Fund will support Her Turn in encouraging girls to go back to school and meeting their safety needs in the post-earthquake context, including workshops on protection from violence and psychosocial support to process the trauma they have been through.