AJWS talk to focus on ending child marriage

AJWS talk to focus on ending child marriage

Manisha Gupte
Manisha Gupte

American Jewish World Service will hold a brunch-and-learn program focusing on efforts to “end child marriage worldwide” on Sunday, Dec. 14, 10 a.m.-noon at the Cooperman JCC in West Orange.

The event will feature a conversation with Manisha Gupte, a women’s rights activist from India and a veteran of campaigns directed toward women’s health, preventing violence against women, and sexuality and minority rights.

“Nearly half of all girls in India marry before turning 18, often against their will,” said an AJWS press release. “Many parents view early marriage as the key to security for their daughters, not realizing that child brides are more likely to drop out of school, experience domestic violence, or die in childbirth.”

The program is part of the AJWS’s “We Believe” campaign, which works “to end child marriage and empower girls to choose their own paths toward healthy, fulfilling futures,” said the release.

When AJWS executive director Ruth Messinger addressed Princeton University’s Center for Jewish Life/Hillel in November, she said her organization “operates on the principle that the problems of marginalized people — violence, sexual assault, gender inequality, land threats, oppressive regimes — are in fact issues with which Jews need to be concerned, whether the victims of those problems are Jewish or not. 

“Because of our experience of oppression and persecution and of our community trying to help heal the world,” said Messinger, “the message many of us grew up with is that it is the job of Jews to pursue justice; more and more people in the Jewish community are thinking about how they can do that in all parts of the world.”

To RSVP, contact Rachel at rackoff@ajws.org or 212-792-2882.

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