For many, the “face” of early marriage is usually a young girl, often uneducated and unprepared both emotionally and physically to endure the practical and cultural responsibilities of a marriage.  However, for me, there is another face of one who’s been affected by early marriage—the elderly woman.


As a documentary filmmaker who produces films on pressing maternal health issues, I’ve met several of these women while shooting short films on a horrific childbearing injury that is often brought on by early marriage. It’s called obstetric fistula and is caused by a woman being unable to physically deliver her newborn baby naturally.

With early marriage comes early pregnancy.  A young girl, physically unable to deliver a baby, may experience an obstructed labor sometimes lasting up to four or five days. Without access to emergency obstetric care or a “C section,” she may lose her life.  If she is…

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