Fatmata, 17 years, Sierra Leone
Fatmata is a senior secondary student from rural Sierra Leone who talks passionately about the issue of domestic violence and the need to end early & forced marriages.
In Fatmata’s own village, she reports the case of a man in a polygamous marriage with three young girls. The man was physically abusing all his young wives and the girls felt trapped in a desperate situation. Eventually, they gathered enough courage to leave him.
Fatmata feels strongly that a girl under 18 years does not have the mental and emotional capacity to consent to a marriage, and she might not have the physical strength to survive childbirth. Fatmata believes early and forced marriage should be prosecuted and the parents and husband of the girl concerned should face a 15 year prison sentence.
Fatmata is involved in Plan International’s Girls Making Media project, which engages adolescent girls from some of the most marginalised areas of Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Togo in making media that advocates against gender discrimination. Fatmata moderates programmes on a radio station in her community and gives assembly talks in her school on corporal punishment and gender-based violence in schools.