The Marc Steiner Show

Child Brides, Stolen Lives: The Problem of Child Marriage

Female genital mutilation. Sex slaves. Human trafficking.

These are the topics that journalist Maria Hinojosa thought of when she was deciding which global women’s issue to focus on for a special episode of NOW, the acclaimed PBS program. But a phone call to a source set her straight. The biggest issue facing women globally is not genital mutilation, or slavery. It is the millions of women that are forced to marry as children. 51 million girls under the age of 18 are married. According to a report by the International Center for Research on Women, that number will rise to 100 million by the end of this decade. Marc and Maria sat down and talked about her documentary Child Brides; Stolen Lives which premiered on PBS in 2007.

Afgan Bride

Sunam is only 3 years old. She is dressed up in her bridal
outfit as she prepares to marry her 7 year old cousin.

Photo Credit: Farzana Wahidy/AP.

Want to watch the documentary? Visit the website of Now on PBS.

Under the cut…resources and pictures!

Here are a couple of the girls you will meet in this documentary and interview


Habi lives in Niger. She will tell the story of how she came to be incontinent as a result of being married as a child.


Mamta was only 7 when she was married to a man she had never met. She is afraid of her husband.

Other resources

Several months ago, the New York Times Magazine published a stunning series of pictures of child brides in Afghanistan with their husbands. Here is a link to that article and slideshow. One photo is above. Ghulam Haider, 11, is to be married to Faiz Mohammed, 40. She had hoped to be a teacher but was forced to quit her
classes when she became engaged. Photo Credit: Stephanie Sinclair for the New York Times

The International Center for Research on Women has a wealth of information about child marriages. Visit their online exhibit Too Young To Wed: Child Marriage in their Own Words.

Let us know what you think of the interview.

Program length is 39: 21.

Written by Marc Steiner

Marc Steiner

The Marc Steiner Show airs Monday thru Friday from 10AM to Noon on WEAA 88.9 FM. The show covers the topics that matter, engaging real voices, from Charm City to Cairo and beyond. Call us at 410.319.8888 or email us to participate live in the show, or share your comments on our site! Aren’t in Baltimore but want to listen? Stream the show live.


  1. Is there any foundation that can help these girls? Like a place where they can go and be safe from their families and the men they should wed?

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