Paradigm Shift

This story is just all kinds of amazing and inspiring:

Classmates of a 13-year-old Bangladeshi school girl due to enter a forced marriage have united to stop the ceremony going ahead, police say.

Around 50 pupils in the town of Satkhira took to the streets to demand that Habiba Sultana’s wedding be called off, they say.

Pupils even submitted a petition to police urging them to take action.

Police summoned Habiba’s father and ordered him to stop the girl’s marriage, which they said was illegal.

Her father was told to sign a bond in which he promised not marry off his daughter while she is still a child, the Bangladesh Daily Star reported.

At the right moment, truth can be unstoppable and infectious. It can turn a deeply ingrained cultural tradition on its head. It can look a father in the face and tell him that his daughter is no longer simply an instrument of barter, to be sold or married off at his whim without any say from her. These young girls have bravely initiated the shift in Satkhira, and as they get older it can only continue to permeate.

This story actually made me optimistic for a couple of minutes. Why? Because it shows that a true paradigm shift can still happen. Maybe even here on our shores one day.

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8 Comments

Filed under 08_space_cowboy

8 responses to “Paradigm Shift

  1. Once again, it’s the kids who shame the adults around them by showing them how to act.

    Here’s another example:

    http://thequakeragitator.blogspot.com/2007/07/when-our-children-shame-us-into-action.html

  2. late

    You just made my day (week, month?). Thank you for posting this story..

  3. bluefish A

    yay! this is a great story. (for once).

  4. late

    Yeah QuakerDave – see video of Oye and her co-organizer at surfnpoetry.blogspot.com

  5. NameChanged

    Beautiful thing, that unity.

  6. Brynn

    Not to rain on anyone’s parade, but what does it mean “n which he promised not marry off his daughter while she is still a child“?

    Does that mean he can arrange her marriage after she reaches adulthood without her consent?

  7. Pingback: EnMasse :: View topic - Child wedding 'stopped by pupils'

  8. Brynn, possibly.

    It may mean that the girls were mostly upset by her being married off while still a child, rather than rejecting the tradition of bartering for brides outright. Or it may mean that she has certain rights when she reaches adulthood that make any bartering her father does after she reaches that age to be not binding, unless it’s done with her consent.

    Either way, still a brave and bold move and a huge step in the right direction.

    Aside from the obvious, it’s also still of great benefit to her, personally. Even if she is bartered off as an adult, she will have more resources available to her than she does now. Not the least of which will be a better education and all the confidence that goes with that, since she’s more likely to be able to stay in school as a daughter than as a wife/bride-to-be.

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