VOA reporters around the world focused on the worth of a girl to reveal how a young bride is valued by two families: the one she leaves behind and the one she joins. And what is the cost to the girl herself of marrying before age 18? VOA news teams—representing 12 languages—posted short videos of girls and women describing their experiences as brides and young mothers. These are their stories, in their own words.
Wed at 13, a concerned mother plans a different outcome for her young daughter.
After refusing to marry, a schoolgirl sought help and now champions female empowerment.
Married at 16 to a man nearly as old as her father, a teenager builds a loving relationship that has lasted for eight years.
In rural Chiapas State, two teenagers marry, despite their parents’ disapproval.
Wed at 13, an Afghan girl eventually escapes husband and in-laws.
In Honduras, an unmarried teen lives with her partner, their daughter – and economic pressures.
ln a small Missouri town, early marriages are frequent occurrences.
An unpaid loan in south Afghanistan turns a poor, struggling girl into collateral for marriage.
A forced marriage becomes a stable, happy union, but she cautions against marrying young.
Dashed hopes, broken dreams leave young bride facing harsh realities.
Divorce makes life difficult after an abusive marriage.
Promised to a man when she was 11, a young girl is abandoned soon after her marriage.
A desire to save her sister’s life led to an early marriage. A desire for shelter turned her own daughter into a child bride.
A failed marriage becomes a catalyst for newfound independence.