‘Maternity Wear for a 12-Year-Old’ Campaign, Leaves Us and Many Other Zambians Outraged! | Mainstream Blog

‘Maternity Wear for a 12-Year-Old’ Campaign, Leaves Us and Many Other Zambians Outraged!

“Who is to protect the girl child?” We ask, in utter despair. If the very organizations set to help, are the first to infringe upon her rights? Who then is to protect her? 



For many years, Africa has been at the heart of multiple international bodies and Non-Governmental-Organizations. Lending her a helping hand as she tries to overcome hardships such as; poverty, disease and child related causes. 



Today, propounded by her people, Africa has come a long way since the initiation of these International pursuits. At her disposal, are a multitude of Non-Profit Organizations dedicated to eradicate her problems in various ways, with one of the most popular means being to raise awareness through campaigns.


 

Campaigns are supposed to be two things; captivating and meaningful. However, in between advocating for a cause and picking a tagline with the intention to attain the attention of the masses, ethical bounds are sometimes crossed, which should not be the case. 


 

One such campaign is ‘Maternity Wear for a 12-Year-Old’, by the Finnish branch of Plan International, a developmental and humanitarian organization whose core purpose is to advance children's rights and equality for the girl child.



‘Maternity Wear for a 12 year old’ campaign; a poor choice of a name in itself, was one created to stand against child pregnancy. Taken to its most literal extent, Plan International Organization had a Finnish designer; Paola Suhonen, create a line of clothing for pregnant children. Later, they found a 12 year old pregnant Zambian child, (Whose name we can not disclose due to media ethics protecting children), made her wear the clothes and had a Finnish photographer; Meeri Koutaniemi take her pictures. Subsequently, they produced romanticized pictures of child pregnancy, which was stated by the designer herself in a video, and made her pose in a sexually suggestive way in the name of fashion photography. The girl and her family did not receive any form of compensation.



According to an advocate against this campaign and Finnish citizen, Anaïs D-P, the aim of the photoshoot was to shock Finnish audiences. The images of the pregnant 12 year old African child, as if it were art, were exposed and exhibited at bus stops, in the windows of shops and other places in Finland.



To top it all off, the NGO recently got a prize for this campaign. SahWira Africa International and allies got together and demonstrated in Helsinki a few weeks ago with the intent to have the organization forfeit the prizes and apologize, however, Plan refused to apologize and give back the prizes.



The campaign to challenge Plan International; #ProtectBlackGirlsToo, was started by a researcher at Abo Accademy University (AAU), Faith Mkwesha, with her newly founded NGO, SahWira Africa International. An organization fighting for women’s and girls’ rights, against racism, poverty and violence.



Let us stand against the eroticism of the girl child and help the cause out. By using the tagline:

 
#ProtectBlackGirlsToo 



Note: We could not publish the mentioned pictures due to our responsibility as the media, to protect children.



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