Dramatic account of the abuses to girls in the world (Images)
October 12, 2012
In an effort to start a global conversation about the devastating effects of early marriage, which is now practiced in more than 50 developing countries, the United Nations decided to celebrate this year worldwide on October 11 as ‘International Day of the Girl’.
The photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair partnered with National Geographic to create a series of images that represent the very young girls who married middle-aged men in countries like India, Yemen and Ethiopia.
Although child marriage is illegal in many countries, and international treaties banning the practice, it is estimated that some 51 million girls under 18 are married, often under the cover of darkness and secrecy. Only in Afghanistan, it is believed that approximately 57 percent of girls are married before the legal age of 16.
There are several factors that lead to parents of girls brides marry their daughters, by pressure from the community to confirm ancient cultural customs to economic considerations.
The poor, developing nations, it is not uncommon for families to pay debts, offering their daughters as payment.
In India, where girls are often married with children who are just a couple of years older than them, sometimes husbands may be decades older than his bride. It is not unusual for men to kidnap and rape girls.
Since 2003, Sinclair has been traveling to remote parts of the world in countries like Nepal and Yemen to document the wedding of child brides and their transformation into young mothers hoping to give them a voice and raise awareness of the problem.