A young girl not older than 12 is decked out in a bridal gown on Beirut's corniche. She sits on a bench with a man of about 50. A jogger taps her on the shoulder, leans over and mouths "don't do it." Later crowds gather to scold the groom apparent about the child marriage.
This is Lebanese NGO KAFA's social experiment last year. They staged and filmed a child marriage photo shoot to elicit reactions from passers by and to heighten awareness about outdated laws that permit marriages to children as young as nine-years old.
The video garnered over 1 million views.
Yesterday, KAFA announced that the campaign has since won 8 international awards in 2016, including the Facebook EMEA awards (Facebook for Good and Best Use of Facebook Platform), Facebook global awards (Facebook for Good), Cannes Lions (Direct: charities and appeals, Media: use of stunts) Directory-September 2016, Impact D&Ad, Golden Drum and has been shortlisted in MENA Effie awards.
Lebanon lacks a unified civil personal status law governing personal matters for women in the country.
Article 9 of the Lebanese Constitution guarantees that religious authorities take charge of things including divorce, marriage and child custody. Civil laws do not govern marriage, meaning a couple can only wed under religious laws, which allows for child marriage.
In Lebanon, more than 13 percent of girls are married before they’re 18.
KAFA’s aim was to pressure the religious establishments by “rallying public support against child marriage.”
The video ends with the phrase “قانون_سنة_جِدّي_ما_في_يكون_جَدّي”, (Laws from the time of our grandparents can not be taken seriously).