They are children; Not brides!

Rap singer Şahıs publishes a new rap song and clip to draw attention to child, early and forced marriages (CEFM) in Turkey.

Rap singer Şahıs publishes a new rap song and clip to draw attention to child, early and forced marriages (CEFM) in Turkey. Having collaborated with UN Women Turkey and Association for Monitoring Gender Equality (CEİD), Şahıs says “I think music is a true inspiration for achieving transformative change”. The video clip aims to raise awareness about CEFM especially among young individuals to encourage them to become part of the solution.

Child marriages are a form of violence against women and one of the most widespread human rights violations, affecting millions of girls around the world and in Turkey. Child, early and forced marriages intterupt girls’ education and negatively affect their physical, emotional and sexual health. Moreover, they increase the risk of women and girls being subjected to violence – all of which cost women and girls their freedoms and right to life with dignity and security.

“Globally, 1 out of every 5 women marry before the age of 18. In Turkey, the rate is 15% for women aged 20 – 24”

UN Women Turkey Project Coordinator Duygu Erseçen says the aim of the rap song and clip is to increase the visibility of CEFM among a wider audience and adds: “Child marriages are both the cause and the result of gender inequalities. They are also one of the biggest obstacles before women and girls that prevent their equal access to and participation in education, jobs and social life. That is why holistic interventions with a multi-sectoral approach are needed to tackle CEFM”.

“I hope that this song lights the way for people’s awareness”

Şahıs says that he has always been aware of issues affecting the society and wanted to write songs that reflect his sensitivity and his art: “I think music is a true inspiration for achieving transformative change. We don’t see its effects immediately but we become more and more aware as years pass. I hope that this song lights the way for people’s awareness”.

“Our message is clear: Children are not brides”

“‘They are Children, Not Brides!’ is a rap song and clip that has excited us a lot. The aim of the song is to draw attention to the subject. Art is a strong means to tell a story, to make it visible, to enable confrontation, to galvanize action for change and transformation. Rap music is also really popular, especially among young people, regardless of their gender, culture and economic background. In this regard, the rap song and clip aims to spark the interest of young individuals on the topic and invite them to be a part of the women’s and girl’s movement,” says CEİD Project Coordinator Sevinç Ünal.

The rap song and the clip by Şahıs is part of the “Prevention of Child, Early and Forced Marriages” project supported by UN Women Turkey and implemented by CEİD. The project is part of the “UN Joint Programme on the Prevention of Child, Early and Forced Marriages in Turkey” funded by Sweden through Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA).

Lyrics

They are children; Not brides

Do not turn a blind eye!

She was innocent,

She was silent,

You saw her, she was upset.

Obscurity grasped her.

She has no access to health nor education.

These were her rights… where are they now?

When the tide turns, no one will be able to ask if child marriages are legitimate.

It can neither be pardoned nor excused!

Imagine.

They ask you to submit at the age of fifteen.

They surround you like a curse.

“Family” is a mere excuse.

She wants her diploma…

But she is subject to sexual violence instead.

Enough is enough!

They are children; Not brides

Do not turn a blind eye!

UN entities involved in this initiative
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women