Photographer Stephanie Sinclair captures the faces and voices of girls who are forced to wed far too young. This story was originally published on September 18, 2015. India alone accounts for one third child poverty in america essay all child marriages, according to UNICEF.
Child marriage robs girls of the opportunity to finish their education, and girls who are forced to have children too early are more likely to die during childbirth or suffer serious complications. Girls forced to wed too young are also vulnerable to sexual abuse and domestic violence. Photographer Stephanie Sinclair has dedicated more than a decade of her life to capturing the faces and voices of these child brides. Over the past 13 years, her work has taken her to places as diverse as India, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Yemen, Nepal, and Ethiopia. Sinclair spoke to Refinery29 from her home in New York’s Hudson Valley. Why did you feel documenting child marriage was such an important project to undertake?
I started this project in 2003. Previously, I was a conflict photographer, and I was covering child marriage while I was working in Afghanistan. When I went to the hospital to talk to the survivors, I learned that they had been married at very young ages. I felt that I had to make sure that if I was going to cover something so intense, like these suicide attempts, I had to look at the reasons behind them.
It wasn’t the only reason, but being married very young was a sort of primary common denominator. The girls weren’t very articulate, because they were in a lot of pain, but there was this common denominator of why they had done this. Then, I realized that this was an issue that was happening worldwide and that was very much still alive. But there were no photographs of it — no visual evidence. So my goal was to provide this evidence. I started in Afghanistan and then traveled to 10 different countries. We see child marriage happening the most in developing countries, but we also have child marriage in the U.
Europe — not in high numbers, but it exists. Whenever I saw him, I hid. Majed, when she was six and he was 25. The young wife posed for a portrait with former classmate Ghada, also a child bride, outside their home in Hajjah, Yemen. Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that one in three women alive today were married before the age of 15. 9 Valentine’s Day Gift Sets That You Can Share With Your S. R29 logo are trademarks of Refinery 29 Inc.
2019s Note: This piece originally appeared in City Journal and is reprinted here with permission. 2019s high levels of child poverty are a media evergreen. Allowing millions of low-skilled immigrants into the U. Why America Can’t Lower Child-Poverty Rates , by Kay S. Editor’s Note: This piece originally appeared in City Journal and is reprinted here with permission. Articles about America’s high levels of child poverty are a media evergreen.
The percentage of children who are poor is more than three times as high in the United States as it is in Norway or the Netherlands. America has a larger proportion of poor children than Russia. Child Poverty Rates in America: Why Can’t We Lower Them? People gather for a Thanksgiving meal in the Skid Row district of Los Angeles, Calif. America’s high levels of child poverty are a media evergreen. Outrageous as they seem, the assertions are true — at least in the sense that they line up with official statistics from government agencies and reputable nongovernmental organizations such as the OECD and UNICEF. International comparisons of the sort that Porter makes, though, should be accompanied by a forest of asterisks.
Data limitations, varying definitions of poverty, and other wonky problems are rampant in these discussions. The lousy child-poverty numbers should come with another qualifying asterisk, pointing to a very American reality. Before Europe’s recent migration crisis, the United States was the only developed country consistently to import millions of very poor, low-skilled families, from some of the most destitute places on earth — especially from undeveloped areas of Latin America — into its communities, schools, and hospitals. Let’s just say that Russia doesn’t care to do this — and, until recently, Norway and the Netherlands didn’t, either.
Both policymakers and pundits prefer silence on the relationship between America’s immigration system and poverty, and it’s easy to see why. The subject pushes us headlong into the sort of wrenching trade-offs that politicians and advocates prefer to avoid. Here’s the problem in a nutshell: You can allow mass low-skilled immigration, which many on the left and the right — and probably most poverty mavens — consider humane and quintessentially American. But if you do, pursuing the equally humane goal of substantially reducing child poverty becomes a lot harder.
In 1964, the federal government settled on a standard definition of poverty: an income less than three times the value of a hypothetical basic food basket. That approach has its flaws, but it’s the measure used in the United States, so we’ll stick with it. Back then, close to 23 percent of American kids were poor. With the important exception of the years between 1999 and 2007 — following the introduction of welfare reform in 1996 — when it declined to 16 percent, child poverty has bounced within three points of 20 percent since 1980. Currently, about 18 percent of kids are below the poverty line, amounting to 13,250,000 children.
Other Anglo countries have lower child-poverty rates: The OECD puts Canada’s at 15 percent, with the United Kingdom and Australia lower still, between 11 percent and 13 percent. The lowest levels of all — under 10 percent — are found in the Nordic countries: Denmark, Norway, Iceland, and Finland. How does immigration affect those post-1964 American child-poverty figures? The 1924 Immigration Act sharply reduced the number of immigrants from poorer Eastern European and southern countries, and it altogether banned Asians.