Child marriage: how a fake blog shocked the world

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By Jack Telford

In September this year, Plan Norway created a fake blog to convince the Norwegian public that a 12-year-old girl was to marry a 37-year-old man in October. The pre-teen, Thea, posted regular updates on her blog, explaining her worries about living a life of ‘wifedom’, and soon having to become pregnant. Thea’s blog quickly became the most read in Norway, mobilising people against child marriage and demonstrating the outrage that the practice can generate when brought into light.

The stunt aimed to give a personal face to the 39,000 children – overwhelmingly girls – who are forced into child marriage worldwide every day. Most in the developed world remain ignorant to the issue, with teenage girls’ suffering going tragically unreported.

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