Gaby Gillespie's Birthday Head Shave

Gaby Gillespie shaves her head on her birthday.

At the age of 13, Gaby Gillespie and her sisters were taken abroad from their home in England under the guise of a holiday to Yemen, where they were unwittingly sold as child brides by their father. “I had one of my sisters pulled from my arms kicking and screaming to be given to a man as his “wife”; she was just 14 years old. My other sister took her own life on her wedding night, she had barely turned 17,” she wrote in her book A Father’s Betrayal.

In a powerful act of reclamation, Gaby volunteered to join the May 2020 Shave Your Head Challenge if we reached our goal of raising $32,000 by her birthday on Thursday, May 28, 2020. We beat our goal by raising $33,412, and Gaby shaved her head on our Instagram! Watch the video here.

“As a survivor of child marriage, I can tell you emphatically that no child should ever live through the trauma I did. Every child deserves to live free from fear, and have access to clean water, food, an education, and the opportunity to wait until adulthood to marry.”

Gaby is a member of the TYTW Board of Advisors, and her critical perspective as a survivor of child marriage informs our work in Yemen and beyond. She has raised five children as a single parent, been a foster parent, and is now an author, campaigner, public speaker, and activist.