A blog by Thea Bryllupet, a pre-teen bride-to-be from Norway, has gone viral.
She is marrying 37-year-old Geir.
While many may be shocked at the existence of such a blog and even more so at the little girl’s publicly shared sentiments about her impending nuptials, there is more going on behind the site.
Thea is part of a Norwegian campaign by Plan International that highlights the issue of child marriages.
“I have been really slow to unpack and clean for when I move, and when my mom saw how little I had done, she was pissed and said I had to stop acting like a child now that I will soon have my own family,” Bryllupet writes.
“What did she mean by that exactly? Think she wants me to get my own children soon? I know that it is normal when you get married to, especially if you have sex and stuff.”
The shock factor of statements like this being made by a 12-year-old gives people a first-hand glimpse at what it’s like to be a child bride.
It also makes it real enough for them to actually feel and care.
Thea is getting married on Oct. 11, which coincides with the United Nations' International Day of the Girl Child.
A little girl should worry about her homework and nasty playmates and plan for slumber parties with friends, not about leaving her family to live with a stranger, impending sex and starting a family.
Child marriage not only poses extreme mental and physical health risks, but it robs young girls of their childhood.
Initiatives like these are definitely a step in the right direction.
This year, the U.N. has pledged to focus the day on child brides and Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has urged governments, communities and families to “let girls be girls” and grow up safely.
Organizations like Too Young To Wed, Girls Not Brides, Care and International Centre for Research on Women (ICRW) are working on spreading awareness about this. One can also get involved in Plan International’s campaign by signing a petition and pledging to financially support a girl who faces child marriage.