“I am a child, not a bride” of which is the Advocacy Mete Onlus President, Giorgia Butera, officially released on Monday 22 September 2014, was anticipated by the newspaper of UN Italia on Sunday 21 September 2014, using the dedicated Poster with the related Credits, presenting the day held at the Glass Palace (NY).
The message wants to be clear, simple and constructive: “Stop Child Brides. Stop Early and Forced Marriages. The choice to contract marriage, or any form of sentimental-sexual union, must belong to free will, the fruit of personal freedom “.
“I am a child, not a bride”, in September 2015 it became an international community.
We are convinced that widespread and shared knowledge, regarding the condition of human rights denied, can contribute to an awareness-raising, useful for a phenomenon of change.
Our intervention is aimed at all the young girls who live the compulsion of forced union, both sentimental and sexual, and need a strong work of awareness, dissemination of knowledge and implementation of good practices, so that they can free themselves from this condition.
Early and often forced marriages are deeply rooted in the imbalances of power between women and men, in stereotypes and laws that reflect the idea that women should play a subordinate social and family role, regulated by patriarchal models, on the consent to social control on the body, and on women’s sexual choices.
Very often forced marriage is the pretext to relegate the female gender to a role of sexual slave, from a young age.
Mete Onlus intervenes in every possible context, where diffusion is necessary.
Since 2014 we have managed to influence, through our expertise and experience, helping young girls for a healthy rebellion. Ours is an educational and knowledge method based on kindness and democracy. We bring young girls back to the value of education and social literacy, projecting them to the construction of their future.
Right from the start, we activated every communication channel (media and new media) to get in touch with an increasingly wider audience, distributed throughout the world.
We take care of the communication and dissemination of messages every day, this has allowed us to become a consolidated point of reference. The dynamic is always the same, telling a false story, just a few hints of truth. Girls need trusting, they are very afraid even if they seek rebellion at all costs.
The work that is developed is a slow process of listening, attention and care.
They are afraid that their rebellion may lead them to an even more ugly life.
Families force them to fast, to “tolerate kidnapping” by the whole family.
We have followed several cases, not all of which have had a positive final outcome.
Our territory does not host “child brides”, the age group involved is between 14 and 21 years; but in the age group under 12 they are already betrothed.
Many are returned to their countries of origin with deception, few of them will be able to return to Italy, although they have grown up there.
There are two areas of Italy with a high concentration of young girls forced into forced marriages: Sicily and the Brescia area. In Sicily, being the first landing place after disembarking, and this is how rooting in the territory takes place. In the area of Brescia (northern Italy), being an area with high economic productivity, which offers work. In the Brescia area there is a strong Pakistani community.
Italy is on the side of child brides and those forced to accept forced marriage, are victims of a violation of human rights that limits their education and causes damage to their physical and emotional health.