I was so proud to stop my friend’s marriage.
When do we find out how strong we are?
When times are tough.
We went to her house and spoke to her parents. They did not listen at first, but we did not give up. We explained that girls – their daughter – can do amazing things if they are given an education. We tried and tried and wouldn’t leave their door until they listened to us. I stopped my sister from getting married off too, because a dowry was involved.
Back at school, I wrote an essay on all that I learned and thought were wrong in our country. I won first prize and was invited to speak at Comilla Town Hall. Everyone was really proud of me.
That is when I started thinking – if a girl like me can win prizes and give a speech at Comilla Town Hall, why can’t all girls? Why should we all just get married as children? My mother was married when she was 12 years old. I don’t want to do that. It does not matter if I am a girl. I have so much to do.”
Mahinur, aged 16, Bangladesh
Stories of strength are for sharing. Pass them on. Thank you.