Two images from “Too Young to Wed: The Secret World of Child Brides,” published in National Geographic.
“Whenever I saw him, I hid. I hated to see him,” eight-year-old Tehani (left) recalls of the early days of her marriage to Majed, when she was six and he was twenty-five. The young wife posed for a portrait with former classmate Ghada, also a child bride, outside their home in Hajjah, Yemen. Each year, 15 million girls are married before the age of eighteen. That is one girl every two seconds—married off too soon, endangering their personal development and well-being.”
“Like other kumaris, Kumari Dangol wears special makeup for festivals. But it’s more than makeup that changes on these occasions. Former kumaris have described feeling bigger and stronger and said that heat radiates from their foreheads. In Nepal, prepubescent Newari girls known as kumaris are worshipped as living goddesses endowed with foreknowledge who are able to cure the sick, fulfill wishes, and bestow blessings for protection and prosperity.”