Shorna Shahida Akter

Child Marriage Abolitionist

Shorna Shahida Akter is a child marriage abolitionist from Bangladesh, where approximately 51% of girls are married before the age of 18, according to a 2020 UNICEF study. Since she became involved with the children’s rights organization Plan Bangladesh at age 12, Akter has stopped three child marriages, including her own. After successfully convincing her parents to call off her arranged marriage, Akter became an advocate for child marriage-free zones, where local governments, NGOs, and religious groups work together to put an end to the practice. Akter is also an active member of the youth group Wedding Busters, which advocates for the rights of girls through educational programs, theater, and door-to-door visits with community members. Akter is an honors student and campaigns against child marriage by organizing awareness programs and rallies in her village. She is also a member of the local girls forum and community clinic, as well as the president of the Union Shishu Forum.

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