“When I turned 16, I came to know that I had been married off as a child. But I don’t even remember that marriage, so I don’t want to honor it . I want it annulled.”
Price of Silence is standing up and out in the streets with our accomplices all over the world for Santadevi Meghwal who is fighting back against her arranged childhood marriage.
Our contemporary fight for equality, for women’s rights isn’t being defined by fancy NGO’s, award ceremonies or social media but by women all over the world matching the audacity to dream against the backdrop of systematic disrepute that demeans their potential and inherent respect. In the cause of equality we must stand equal to the cause for those standing up for equality.
Few statements can live up to this bold courage to live out the colors of life in the endless spectrum of recognition of the innate will of potential embedded in the ‘her’-storical DNA of women in the fight for equality than Santadevi’s response to the precept of enmity and court restrictions to her action to stand up, speak up and fight to annul a marriage arranged for her at 11 months old:
“When I renounced this marriage, my so-called husband Sanwalaram started stalking me and threatening to take me away forcibly,” Santadevi said. “At first, I was scared as my parents were not with me. But, the more pressure they put, the more determined I got to break free…”
Today, Price of Silence and our accomplices 16 December Kranti Official in Delhi, #FemPositive in Mumbai and Feminism In India are launching our pictorial campaign in respect to Santadevi’s fight for justice.
We are collecting pictures of activists and activated people around the world holding up signs in the streets with messages in solidarity with Santadevi and the cause of annulling all child marriages. We are standing on the platform built on the bravery of Santadevi demanding support from the courts in the districts childhood marriages are arranged and the central governments where support in those courts yields to the custom of demeaning women’s lives as instruments to the maelstrom of the largest human rights conflict in the world-that of violence against women in all its forms.
We will deliver these pictures, alongside articles and petitions to Indian consulates and the Central Government demanding that Santadevi’s protection is guaranteed, her fine and marriage are annulled by her own consent alone and that this case be a step, a giant leap, in stepping up mechanisms to protect children, aide women in leaving marriages arranged against their will, or before their age of consent.
If anyone should be charged it is those who arrange child marriages, those who preside over child marriages, and any government silent in the cause of ending childhood marriages.
“I want to study further and become a teacher…”
Join us in action by sending your photos with the #FreeSantadevi and/or #Breakfree tags to firstname.lastname@example.org
Publications covering the campaign:
Youthi Ki Awaaz: http://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2015/05/fight-child-marriage/
Feminism in India: http://feminisminindia.com/freesantadevi/