The terrifying world of child brides: Devastating images show girls young enough to be in pre-school who are married off to older men
At age 11, Ghulam was married off to 40-year-old Jaiz in a rural Afghan village, making her only one of more than 10 million young girls who are being forced to wed men old enough to be their fathers or grandfather every year.
In an effort to start a global conversation about the devastating effects of early marriages, which are currently practiced in more than 50 developing countries, the United Nations designated October 11 as International Day of the Girl Child this year.
To mark the occasion and draw attention to the problem of child brides, photojournalist Stephanie Sinclair teamed up with National Geographic to create a series of heart-breaking photos depicting girls as young as five years old being married off to middle-aged men in countries like India, Yemen and Ethiopia.
Disturbing: Faiz, 40 (left), and Ghulam (right), 11, sit in her home prior to their wedding in the rural Damarda Village, Afghanistan on September 11, 2005
Minors: Tahani (front), 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada (rear), 8, and her husband outside their home in Hajjah, Yemen
Voiceless: Sumeena Shreshta Balami, right, 15, leaves her home to meet her groom, Prakash Balami, 16, in Kagati Village in Nepal, while Sarita, left, 15, is seen covered in tears and sweat before she is sent to her new home in Rajasthan, India
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