Nobel prize winner Malala Yousafzai praised Princess Mabel for “everything she does to help girls all over the world” on Monday night. Princess Mabel has been working to ban child marriages with her organisation ‘Girls Not Brides.’
Malala Yousafzai and the President of the Worldbank Kristalina Georgieva were honoured guests at a meeting at the headquarters of the Ford Foundation, where they spoke about the progress that has been made. The World Bank also made a considerable contribution by making a rapport about the economic damage in those countries where child marriages happen often, and girls are excluded from education. “That is in the billions. That is an argument that people listen to more than emotional or moral arguments”, said Kristalina Georgieva.
Malala Yousafzai has been campaigning for education for all girls and noticed that their early marriage was often an impediment to a continued education. “Girls who marry at the age of 14 and have a child don’t return to school”, Malala Yousafzai said during a discussion led by Princess Mabel.
In an interview with Dutch TV show Blauw Bloed, Princess Mabel said: “Progress is starting to be made, especially in my area of interest, child marriage or the ending of child marriage. One of the most encouraging things is that people seem to understand more and more that child marriage is linked to education for girls, death in childbirth, young girls who are infected with the HIV-virus and that people see that if you end child marriage you can make sure all girls go to school and fewer mothers die in childbirth. It’s good to be here, in this sort of madhouse, to work together on making even more progress”.
Princess Mabel is the widow of Prince Friso of Orange-Nassau, the brother of the current King of the Netherlands, King Willem-Alexander.