For the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, the Zonta Club of Cheektowaga-Lancaster, USA, District 4, is raising awareness of child marriage.
This year, the Zonta club will continue with some traditional projects, as well as incorporating new ways to advocate for women’s rights.
Throughout the 16 Days of Activism, club members read A Good Wife by Samra Zafar, an autobiography of Zafar’s own experience with an arranged marriage at a young age and the challenges and opposition she faced to overcome them and live the life she wanted.
Upon reading the book, many members were surprised to learn how drastically child marriage will affect the bride’s life and limit her control. It helped inspire many members to want to help, conjuring powerful emotions as they read about Zafar’s experience.
The Zonta club initiated a letter-writing campaign to discuss the importance of education in a child’s opportunity for economic independence. At the end of November, club members wrote and sent letters to Sen. Charles E. Schumer, asking him to support one piece of legislation, the Protecting Children Through Eliminating Visa Loophole Act S.742 and to co-sponsor S.1071 and the Keeping Girls in School Act.