A 40-year-old man marries an 11-year-old girl.
Christiane Amanpour spoke with Photographer Stephanie Sinclair about the pictures she has taken all over the world. The photos were images of child brides married to men twice or three times their age.
Sinclair features her photographs in a book called, “Questions without Answers: The World in Picture by the Photographers of VII.”
One image shows a 11-year-old Ghulam sitting beside her 40-year-old husband before their wedding in Afghanistan in 2005. Amanpour asked Siclair if the girl or other child brides consummate their marriage at that age. Sinclair told Amanpour that most men would wait until puberty. However, some of the women in that area confirmed that the men do have sex with their young brides.
Not only are child brides a common practice in the Muslim rural regions, it also happens in other cultures and regions.
Sinclair has taken pictures two girls in Yemen, Tehani and Ghada. Two sisters-in-law who both married to men almost 20 years their senior.
Tehani didn’t even realize she was getting married until the wedding night. She was six years old on her wedding.
Sinclair says, “This harmful, traditional practice of child marriage is just so embeddd in some of these cultures that the families don’t protect them as they should.”
In one photograph, she featured a girl named Nujood Ali from Yemen. Nujood was able to divorce her husband at age 10. According to Sinclair, Nujood found a lawyer after her marriage and asked her to help her get a divorce.
She became an internatioal symbol of child marriage because she was able to stand up for her rights. She has inspired a lot of girls and orgaizations to support child brides in order to give them a stronger voice.
In a Christian community in Ethiopia, child brides are carried off and married to men much older than they are. In one of Sinclair’s photographs, it featured a 14-year-old girl on horseback with her face covered. When the groomsmen were asked why they covered her up, they said that way she would be unable to find her way back home if she tries to escape the marriage.
India and Nepal were also areas that allow child marriages. Young boys and girls were forced to marry each other.
Sinclair hopes that her photographs would help the children forced into this tradition.