Faiz Mohammed, 40, and Ghulam Haider, 11, sit in her home prior to their wedding in the rural Damarda Village, Afghnanistan on Sept. 11, 2005. Ghulam said she is sad to be getting engaged as she wanted to be a teacher. Her favorite class was Dari, the local language, before she was made to drop out of school. Married girls are seldom found in school, limiting their economic and social opportunities. Parents sometimes remove their daughters from school to protect them from the possibility of sexual activity outside of wedlock. It is hard to say exactly how many young marriages take place, but according to the Afghan women’s ministry and women’s NGOs, approximately 57 percent of Afghan girls get married before the legal age of 16. In addition, once the girl’s father has agreed to the engagement, she is pulled out of school immediately. Early pregnancies also result in an increase in complications during child birth.
Surita Shreshta Balami, 16, screams out in protest as the wedding procession carries her to her new home with Bishal Shreshta Balami, 15 Kagati Village, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal on Jan. 29, 2007. Early marriage is a harmful traditional practice common in Nepal. The Kagati village, a Newar community, is most well known for its propensity towards this practice. Many Hindu families believe blessings will come upon them if marry off their girls before their first menstruation.
Rajni, 5, is seen just after waking up before her wedding ceremony in Rajasthan, India on April 28, 2009.
Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband outside their home in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.
After celebrating with female relatives at a wedding party, Yemeni brides Sidaba and Galiyaah are veiled and escorted to a new life with their husbands. Sanaa, Yemen, July 8, 2010.