Friday, March 13, 2015
Dina Shehata_Blog 13
Day 4 of CSW!
Today we went to several events together. In the morning we attended the US Mission to the UN and later in the evening we attended the film screening of Difret.
I’m going to focus tonight’s blog about the film screening. The film told the story of Aberash Diriba (Hirut in the film) who is an Ethiopian woman who was abducted at the age of 14 when she was on her way home from school. I won’t say the details of the film because it is coming out in theaters this summer. I will say that Aberash was the first abduction case where the judge acquitted her because she was acting in self-defense. Aberash was at the film screening and spoke on the panel after the screening was over. The film was incredibly well done and was very emotional for everyone at the screening. To see what many girls all over the world go through in terms of early marriage and even abductions showcased in a film was very eye-opening. Hearing about issues and talking about concerns is not the same as watching the experience of a woman who survived to tell her story and hearing her testimony in person. During the movie, there was a scene where the girl who was abducted (named Hirut in the film) was worried that her younger sister would be abducted as well. Later during the panel, Aberash was asked what happened to her sister later in life. She responded by telling us that after she won her court case, there weren’t any more abductions in her village for the next ten years. It became illegal to abduct women. Her sister ended up finishing high school, going on to college, and becoming a nurse. It was so amazing to hear a success story after such a difficult film to sit through.
Here are some statistics that I learned before the film and after the film during the panel:
1 in 9 girls get married before the age of 15.
I in 3 girls get married by the age of 18.
Even though there is a law against the abduction of girls for marriage in Ethiopia there is a loophole in the law. If the abductor marries the girl then he is not sentenced.
Ethiopia is aiming to end child marriage by the year 2025.
We need to support organizations who help end child marriages. There are many organizations which work very hard and funding is always necessary!