When I was first told that I had to do a theater presentation on early marriage, I felt a need that this was important for me to do. I am 18 years old and I will be getting married soon. In my culture early marriage is the norm. And following this specific norm means doing the best thing for family.
But is it the really best thing for me?
What will happen if I get married at 18, and without knowing who my husband is?
I don't have any guarantee of how I might be treated. My in laws might ask me to leave my job, my studies. I might never see the result of the hard work we did for the women through Female Adult Literacy (FAL) education. I will have to adjust myself according to the ways of my husband, and in laws. This will take me further away from who I really am, and my identity. Therefore, I will lose a lot.
This is the story of many girls in rural and urban culture as well as around the world, who don't have a choice, and are sold through marriage, when they could be playing, reading, dancing, and teaching.
So, on my part, what is the best that I can do?
If through the women's theater, I can raise awareness about the consequences of early marriage, the next generation of girls will know. Girls like me who can't stand up to the norms of culture in this age can in future take stand for their daughters.
And the women in Women's Empowerment Programme have gathered together from all areas, of all ages, uniting together in one song, "Marriage is not for girls, let them shine."
The Women's Empowerment Groups are on the front lines to open the eyes of the community to the fate of early marriage. Through their theater they have projected that page of a girl's life, who after marriage loses her rightful freedom, and most of all, her childhood.
Early marriage can cost a girl her whole life.