In the June issue of National Geographic, Tostan’s Founder and Executive Director Molly Melching is quoted in a striking article on child marriage. The article, titled « Too Young to Wed: the Secret World of Child Brides » brings to light the role that social norms play in this cultural practice and highlights Tostan’s successful human rights-based approach to addressing the practices of child/forced marriage and female genital cutting (FGC) in Africa.
The author, Cynthia Gorney, emphasizes that Tostan’s method differs from the common view that children need to be « rescued » from communities in which child marriage is practiced. Instead, Tostan encourages community dialogue and widespread public declarations for the abandonment of harmful practices, thereby giving communities the chance to protect the rights of all community members. Tostan has demonstrated that this approach can lead to lasting change in one generation and ensures that no single family or child is ostracized for breaking from tradition.
Click here to view the full National Geographic article and photos .