The ‘I Don’t’ Project
Abaynesh and Tadesse pose in the back of their home after collecting lentils in Gindero, Amhara, Ethiopia in October 2016. The state where they come from, Amhara, has the lowest median age for a first marriage (14.7 years). (Photo: José Colón/MeMo)
Almost 700 million women currently alive got married before turning 18, some as young as 10 or 11, and 15 million more join them each year. Some are coerced, others enter into marriage voluntarily for reasons of tradition, culture, or economic necessity. But the outcomes are similar: dropping out of school, social isolation, early pregnancy, maternal mortality and limited future opportunities are common consequences.
Abaynesh, Ramgani and Nayane are three girls whose stories illustrate the causes and effects of early unions across different cultures.
Their stories, their lives, are only three of many.
“I Don’t” Project was funded by the European Journalism Centre.