Instead, she’s describing her recent trip to the Dinajpur region of Bangladesh with Plan to meet young campaigners who are helping to end child marriage. It’s quite a contrast to her life on the set of Emmy-award winning Downton, which has an average of 10 million viewers every week – not to mention the Golden Globes, for which she has just received a best supporting actress nomination.
Froggatt is an ambassador for Plan’s Because I am a Girl campaign, which is striving to end child marriage and keep girls in education across the developing world.
Child marriage currently affects about 15 million girls worldwide every year, with two in three girls in Bangladesh are married before their 18th birthday.
“These are the sort of issues that affected us a hundred years ago, or more, in the UK,” says Froggatt. “We’ve now got more choices. But Bangladesh is at that very early stage. When a girl is married off to someone she’s never met before, she’s likely to have to give up her education. The tradition is that she moves in with her husband’s family and looks after the house. And she often falls pregnant very quickly because they’re not wise about birth control. For some girls it’s just a life of servitude from then on in. They have no say.”
Froggatt, who has sponsored a child in Tanzania with Plan for the past 11 years, joined up with the Wedding Busters on her trip – a group in Bangladesh, who are actively campaigning to stop child marriage.
When they hear about a possible child wedding, they swing into action – taking it upon themselves to visit the family of the daughter (accompanied by an adult) and explain why it’s important she carries on her education. What’s even more remarkable? The Wedding Busters are just teens themselves – aged between 11 and 18. What’s more they are boys as well as girls.