Worldwide, more than 700 million girls alive today were married before their eighteenth birthday (UNICEF). Child marriage has devastating impacts on the realization of the rights of the child, from her right to an adequate education, to her right to sexual and reproductive health. Chief Theresa Kachindamoto has annulled 3,500 child marriages in the central region of Malawi and has helped girls to complete their education, often by subsidizing their schooling. Working with UN Women, the government, civil society and traditional leaders, Chief Kachindamoto contributed to the February 2017 adoption of a constitutional amendment raising the minimum age of marriage from 15 to 18 years. These achievements are against all odds—as the first woman leader in her village and in a village where child marriage is deeply embedded in cultural practice, Chief Kachindamoto’s fight for cultural change has required determination, leadership and persistence.
Director: Megan Sullivan Producer: Thea Hardy Director Photography VR: Jenn Duong Director Photography Traditional: Eve Cohen Drone Operator & Sound: Danielle de Leon Photographer: Jane Hahn Post Production: Therapy Studios Editor: Shannon Albrink Post Producer: Margaret Ward Production company: Novus Select UN Women Vital Voices Supported by Google
Special thanks to the production teams, organizations, friends and family in each location who invited us into their communities and helped guide these women in the field.