How to Become Part of the Movement
to End Forced Marriage
One person can do a lot. Two people can do a lot more. YOU can start a movement that spans the globe! Here are some examples of individuals who took action and found that their action spread far beyond their own corner of the world:
|Farzana Yasmin of Bangladesh stormed out of her wedding after her husband demanded a large dowry. She said that she wanted other “dowry-oppressed women” in Bangladesh to be inspired by her actions, which appear to be without precedent. News of her action has spread around the world, inspiring others.|
|In 1955, an unknown seamstress in Montgomery, Alabama refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger. Rosa Park’s name immediately became a household word and her simple action was the catalyst for the civil rights movement in the United States.|
|Two women in Canada were so upset by a Toronto Police officer’s comment that “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized,” that they started a protest march in Toronto, called “Slutwalk,” to demand that society stop blaming victims of sexual assault and start holding rapists responsible for rape. Within weeks, “Slutwalks” sprang up around the world in cities from New Delhi, India to Hong Kong to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.|
You don’t need to be famous or have lots of money or connections. None of these women did. You just need to be caring, committed and creative.
Host an Event
Host an Event or Presentation on Forced Marriage
This is a great way to get information out to your community, to get people working together, and to create an action that can be shared with the world.
You can incorporate films, speakers and activities into your event or presentation. Let everyone know how we can end forced marriage if we work together.
Join Groups, Sign up for Newsletters, and Keep Yourself Informed.
Sign up for our newsletter to keep yourself updated on what’s happening in Canada
and around the world.
Join Facebook groups like:
Keeping in touch with what’s happening globally can help you locally as women, girls, men and boys are trafficked into, out of, and within Canada.
Spread the Word
Spread the Word and Take Action
Start a Petition
on Change.org, Leadnow.ca, or Care2.com. Your petition can be created to help a particular person (e.g. someone who should be allowed to stay in Canada because they face forced marriage in their home country), to change a law that works against survivors, or to encourage politicians or others with power to do more to end forced marriage.
Share an Action
Ideas that work in one part of Canada, or in one part of the world, may also work in another. When you see a good idea, take action. Share it, promote it, see if it’s possible to do something similar in your community.
The “Occupy Wall street” action and the “Slutwalk” marches spread like wildfire around the world because they tapped into issues that are of concern globally – “Occupy” actions are concerned with the corruption of economic institutions and policies, and the failure of governments and institutions to help the most vulnerable; “Slutwalk” marches are concerned with getting the message out that victims are not responsible for rape – rapists are the ones who should be held accountable, and that men and women need to work together to end violence against ALL women.
Forced marriage is a global problem, happening on every continent and in most countries. If you share, or start, an action and promote it, others may help to turn it global.
Start an Action
Many of the most effective actions were initially started by one or two individuals. Come up with a creative idea to put an end to forced marriage, or to draw attention to the damage forced marriage does in people’s lives. Then spread the word.
- Circulate your action on Facebook, Twitter and other social media.
- Post it on websites that allow the posting of events and actions.
- Send it via email to everyone you know.
- Create an informative, attention-grabbing short video and post it to YouTube. Then get all your friends and family to post the link on their Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and email lists.