A few years ago, Sonita Alizadeh’s own parents were considering selling her into marriage in order to pay a dowry for her older brother’s bride.
But Alizadeh, a refugee from Afghanistan who was living in Iran at the time, decided she wanted to continue her education. And in the process of rejecting her own forced marriage, she produced a rap song, “Brides for Sale”, that has gone viral on YouTube.
Related Campaign: Join the fight against forced child marriage.
Yesterday, at the Social Good Summit in New York City, she debuted a new song “Brave and Bold.”
She also succeeded in getting an education; she’s a high school student in Utah and has her sights set on college.
Mashable spoke to Alizadeh to hear about her inspiration:
As I have been advocating to end child marriage, I’ve been meeting and learning about all the incredible young people out there doing the work in their countries and communities to help girls. It is very inspiring! I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about how we can make change. I think that it starts with a decision to be brave and bold — to really do something.
And young people are doing it. Whether it is working to end child marriage or to addressing another problem they see! I want to share these kinds of stories and inspire more people to do the same.
I have many dreams that I am working towards right now. The first is to help end child marriage. Although the rate of child marriages around the world has decreased from 15 million to 12 million every year, we still have a long way to go. That is still 12 million dreams lost. 12 million futures gone. My dream is for every girl to reach her full potential. I am currently working towards that dream through my advocacy.
When asked what viewers of her videos can do to help stop forced child marriage, Sonita said the first step is to educate themselves about the problem.
“Understanding a problem is half the solution. Every one of us have the power to take an action. I want people who are relatively safe to speak up for the ones who are in danger,” she said.
“Each one of us are powerful and our voices are powerful force for change. We will make the path for the next generation. We need to all work together for that.”