By Alli Tolbert, Communications and Marketing Intern
It’s Valentine’s Day, and with it comes plentiful amounts of jewelry commercials, flower advertisements and chocolate sales. Yet, beneath all of this, many of us in the U.S. miss what should be the real joy of Valentine’s Day – the recognition that we are free to celebrate love and the right to choose who we love.
In many developing countries, such as Nepal, the prospect of a romantic relationship of one’s choosing is hardly the norm. Child marriage is a stark and prevalent reality for many girls. With a third of girls aged 15-19 already married, Nepal stands second among the top 10 countries in the world in terms of child marriage prevalence. Families arrange child marriages for many reasons, whether it be cultural tradition or poverty and an inability to support their daughters.
But studies show that if a girl has better access to an education, this cultural norm has the potential to shift. If more girls in the developing world become educated and empowered to contribute to their communities, families may begin to see that educating their daughters is an equally valuable investment to educating their sons.
Whether you have a sweetheart this Valentine’s Day or not, the ability to share love with friends and family is something to be grateful for.