Za’atari Refugee Camp along the Jordanian-Syrian border (photo by Meena Lenn)
Every culture values their children. Some value their girls less. This equation can change during a crisis: a war, a devastated crop, a death of a husband and breadwinner. Everything, in those moments, can change for a family. Girls become a commodity; the cash crop, the way out of a war, the way to earn an income that was lost.
Syrian families in Jordan, like others facing war and displacement, are bartering their girls. Not all of them, of course, but some of them. One girl sold is a tragedy. Two or more and it becomes an economy. Casting judgement in such situations does not protect our girls, but action can.
Circle of Health International is working to address such systemic causes of early marriage, trafficking, and coercion. We recognize that girls and women are in danger of being sold, brokered, and traded by their families in times of war and crisis. And that one of the most effective ways to prevent this is to ensure that families have incomes, a safe place to live, and access to education.
Join COHI in providing healthcare for these families, as we create programs and partnerships addressing these root causes of child marriage, trafficking, and sexual coercion. Take action, donate today.
For our girls, because they are all ours to protect.
Sera Bonds, MPH