2/21 Child Brides; Stolen Lives


Sunam is only 3 years old. She is dressed up in her bridal outfit as she prepares to marry her 7 year old cousin. Photo Credit: Farzana Wahidy/AP.

We have brand new content for you from the Center for Emerging Media! Stream the podcast here. (Or just right click on that link, and choose “Save Link As.”  This will download it onto your computer.  Thanks to our intelligent reader Ron Counsell for figuring this one out!) Program length is 39: 21.

Female genital mutilation. Sex slaves. Human trafficking. These are the topics that journalist Maria Hinojosa thought of when she was deciding which global women’s issue to focus on for a special episode of NOW, the acclaimed PBS program. But a phone call to a source set her straight. The biggest issue facing women globally is not genital mutilation, or slavery. It is the millions of women that are forced to marry as children. 51 million girls under the age of 18 are married. According to a report by the International Center for Research on Women, that number will rise to 100 million by the end of this decade. Marc and Maria sat down and talked about her documentary Child Brides; Stolen Lives which premiered on PBS in 2007.

You can stream that interview here. (Program length is 39: 21)

Want to watch the documentary? Visit the website of Now on PBS.

Under the cut…resources and pictures!

Here are a couple of the girls you will meet in this documentary and interview



Habi lives in Niger. She will tell the story of how she came to be incontinent as a result of being married as a child.



Mamta was only 7 when she was married to a man she had never met. She is afraid of her husband.

Other resources

Child Brides from New York Times by Stephanie Sinclair

Several months ago, the New York Times Magazine published a stunning series of pictures of child brides in Afghanistan with their husbands. Here is a link to that article and slideshow. One photo is above. Ghulam Haider, 11, is to be married to Faiz Mohammed, 40. She had hoped to be a teacher but was forced to quit her classes when she became engaged. Photo Credit: Stephanie Sinclair for the New York Times

The International Center for Research on Women has a wealth of information about child marriages. Visit their online exhibit Too Young To Wed: Child Marriage in their Own Words.

Let us know what you think of the interview.


6 Responses

  1. I just listened to the interview and it was good to hear Marc’s voice. What an interesting topic. I haven’t followed all the links above but it certainly has piqued my curiosity. The health consequences in particular interested me.

    This format certainly holds a lot of promise as it develops. I hope there will be ways to make it more interactive as well.

    Can I ask that you all post a linky to the Center for Emerging Media here on the blog? I understand that the website is going to be renovated, but I think it would still be useful.

  2. Thanks for helping get the word out, Marc. Maria did an outstanding job on this project, and the companion website we built for CHILD BRIDES just won a huge Gracie Allen award from American Women in Radio & Television.

    The link above to the NOW website is written in error, but you can go directly to the Child Brides site here.


    It includes a personal diary of the trip from Maria as well as the show’s producer, and realistic ways to help these girls rebuild their futures through education.

    Joel Schwartzberg
    Senior New Media Producer
    NOW on PBS

  3. Marc,

    A most troubling interview. One that needs to get out to more people.

    I look forward to more in the future.

    Asa Strong

  4. Great segment, and exactly the kind of thing we need and expect from CEM. I don’t have television, and would never have known about this program on NOW otherwise.

    One thing that Maria didn’t get into too much is that there really are concrete ways that we can help. Even though the value of the dollar has fallen dramatically in the last year or so, we still have tremendous buying power compared to other countries. For example, I sponsor a little girl in India through a children’s charity. You know how much it is for me to put this child in private school? $125 a year. Seriously. That’s tuition, uniforms, and books. For that amount of money, and what it can mean to someone’s life (not to mention the positive spill over to the rest of the family and community), it’s a no-brainer. I’m not writing this to make everyone think I’m Wonderful (because I’m really really not), but to illustrate just how little it takes to change a life.

    One of the things I have always loved about public radio (even though I am disenchanted with WYPR at the moment) is that it is more than entertainment; it really is a public service and a forum for meaningful discussion of critical issues like child marriage that are not “sexy” enough to make it to the corporate airwaves. I’m glad to see the CEM is picking up the ball that WYPR has dropped.

  5. will the blog keep commenting on the ypr situation? (i hope)
    rodricks show has been ok- i call all guests to ask them please do they know we feel they should not participate (except people like rod rosenstein who cluld have me arrested) (or pat jessamy who is hopeless anyway)
    i mean, i always liked dan- but i cannot get past his participation particularly in that he has not said word one abt the situation-
    that kind of sickens me, having been thru a million situations like this at work- as haven’t we all- and knowing who yr friends were and who had yr. back
    i mena- sragow, zurawik- these sun folks who appear on his show- is money ALL they care abt.- fattening their nests and reps-

    dave froginbog

  6. I’m with Rhonda. I wouldn’t have known about this except for CEM and this blog. Now my work begins – listen to this podcast again (more than once), chase the links, find out more about who Maria Hinojosa is and what she has done…

    Obviously, I want to hear more about child marriage in the U.S. and in U.S. territories.

    About value of the dollar: against the euro, the dollar has fallen about 56% since June 1, 2001. Reciprocally, the euro has risen about 80% since June 1, 2001, and 100% (euro = $1.70) is possible by the time Bush leaves office. I leave the probability statement to others.

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