Child Brides: The Health and Human Consequences of Marrying Too Young
Master class at the Boston University School of Public Health focusing on the global phenomenon of forced child marriage
- Nov 4, 2011 -- In many countries around the world, girls as young as 5 are forced into arranged marriages with much older men in a complex cultural practice often cloaked in secrecy. A presentation at Boston University School of Public Health, and a similar forum at the Boston Public Library Central Branch, discussed some of the origins of this custom. Both events were co-sponsored by BUSPH, the BU Center for Global Health & Development, the BU College of Communication, and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
- After an introduction by BUSPH Dean Bob Meenan and Pulitzer Center Executive Director Jon Sawyer, photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair showed a chilling video of child brides in Yemen, India, Afghanistan and Ethiopia.
- SInclair added comments after the video, explaining that:
- Religion, while a factor, isn't the only determinant of child marriage, nor is the custom specific to any one religion or one region, Sinclair said:
- Sinclair and writer Cynthia Gorney -- whose collaboration was featured in the June 2011 edition of National Geographic -- said education was far more of a key than religion:
- Another interesting, unexpected discovery was the level of support from some men within the communities that Sinclair and Gorney visited:
- As Gorney added later:
- Gorney, a journalism professor at the University of California, Berkeley, revealed that she entered the project with a firmly held position, but found that the subject of child marriage was far more complex and nuanced the more she reported on it.
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