Every two seconds, somewhere in the world a girl is forced to marry. That's 28 child brides a minute. So by the time you finish reading this blog, 100 childhoods could have been cut short. Child marriage is a fundamental violation of a girl's rights. In its most violent form it begins with abduction. Here, women and girls kidnapped in northern Ghana, where ActionAid works, talk about how they survived.
The recent news that Kenya’s government will give free sanitary towels are to schoolgirls is a big step towards making sure they don't have to drop out of school when they have their period. It's unfair that millions of girls in the developing world are held back by their periods - so we welcome this move to ensure that all schoolgirls in Kenya have access to sanitary towels and tampons.
Providing sanitary kits to women, which include sanitary towels, underwear, wet wipes, a soap bar, a toothbrush and toothpaste, has been a key part of ActionAid Greece's response to the refugee crisis since November 2015. We have distributed 41,000 sanitary kits so far: initially through women friendly spaces in camps on the island of Lesvos, and now in camps in Athens. Mel Phadtare, the Head of Humanitarian Response Program for ActionAid Greece, explains why these kits are so essential, based on her team on the ground's observations.
Father's Day is this Sunday - so what better day to celebrate the amazing dads who are standing up for a better world for their daughters? From dads in the UK who want their daughters to feel zero shame around their periods, to dads in Kenya protecting their daughters from female genital mutilation (FGM), we're thanking the dads who are fighting for gender equality.
In her first speech to Parliament, MP Jo Cox said: “We are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us.” Inspired by those words, and in tribute to Jo – a year on from her death – we’re joining hundreds of organisations to host The Great Get Together this weekend.
As wedding season approaches it can sometimes be difficult to remember what’s important. Seating plans and colour schemes can all too easily take over, leaving DIY wedding planners baffled by a to-do list full of things they never knew they would care about so much. I know because I’m planning a wedding myself, and have just emerged from the depths of centrepiece research (conclusion: it doesn’t matter). Amidst all the decisions - real or silk flowers? whether to brave the first dance? - we shouldn't forget what weddings are really about. Find out how brides and grooms can choose to send a message of love, and change lives for good, on their wedding day.