I am Generation Equality: Mariam Lomtadze, computer coder against child marriage
Date: Friday, January 10, 2020
I am Generation Equality because…
As a very young person, people laughed at me when I first took up science and technology subjects, saying it was inappropriate for a girl.
Three things you can do to stop child marriage
- Speak up. We should speak a lot about early or forced marriage to increase awareness and action.
- Support girls' education because it helps girls to find their voices, fully realise their potential and secure their future.
These attitudes did not affect my aspirations towards technology, but they did get me interested in a new field – gender equality. Since then, I have been trying to combine these two interests to resolve the problems caused by gender inequality.
Hacking against early marriage
In July I participated in a hackathon where my team worked on the problems caused by early marriage. We focused on this specific problem because the data shows that there is an alarmingly large number of girls in Georgia who get married between the ages of 14 and 18.
According to research, this often means they can’t finish their education, which impacts their career, and all this ends with domestic violence. During the hackathon, we found innovative ways to visualize data on this issue.
Speak up and show support!
Talking about early and forced marriage is the starting point for resolving it. It is also important to show the girls involved – those who either married early or are facing the threat of this problem – that they are not alone.
We need to do everything we can to help them become stronger. If they see that they are not alone, it will be much easier for them to solve the issue.
“Talking about early and forced marriage is the starting point for resolving it. ”
Everyone is part of the solution
Often, when there is an issue related to gender inequality, men think it only concerns women. This is not true. We all have equal voices in the fight against the problems caused by inequality – both men and women.
Men can make the same contribution as women do towards raising awareness. In fact, unless we all speak up for women’s rights and start to act, any one of us may become a victim of inequality tomorrow. So, raise your voice – speak up!
Inspired by programming for the past eight years, 17-year-old Mariam Lomtadze is the founder of Looper and tech start-ups Hero and FarmApp. Currently working on developing Android mobile apps while taking a gap year after graduating high school, Mariam participated in a hackathon to find innovative ways to visualise gender data at the UN Women-supported regional conference Gender Statistics.