FILM AND ORGANIZATION “TOO YOUNG TO WED” REACHING AUDIENCES WORLDWIDE

by Sharon Rondeau

(Jan. 3, 2016) — Over the last week, the Israel Video Network has been polling viewers on its ten best films of 2015.  [Editor’s Note:  some images will be disturbing.]

The subject matter of the “Top 10 Video Countdown” includes Islamic terror, Christian persecution, a man who rescued Jewish children during the Holocaust, Old Testament Biblical history, and child brides, which earned the position of #5.

The film “Too Young to Wed” was produced by National Geographic and depicts photojournalists describing wedding customs and actual weddings involving children as young as nine.

One of the journalists, Stephanie Sinclair, has traveled to the nations of India, Yemen, Afghanistan, Nepal and Ethiopia to observe and photograph child marriages.

Another journalist reported that child marriages in India are illegal, but if someone attempts to stop a wedding, it brings dishonor to the family for “a generation to come” and not improved the prospects for the young girl’s future.

In India, many of the ceremonies reportedly take “hours” and are ceremonial in nature only until the girl reaches the age of possibly 13 or 14.

One journalist said that a “married child” is sometimes physically safer than one who is allowed to go to school.

The end of the video advises those interested in learning more to visit pulitzercenter.org, which reported in September 2014 that “almost a third of Syrian refugee brides in Jordan have been under the age of 18.”

A report from October 2012 stated that at that time, 10 million girls under the age of 18 “are given or sold into marriage each year.”

An organization bearing the same name as the film, “Too Young to Wed (TYTW),” founded by Sinclair, aims to stop child marriage by educating the public and holding symposia throughout the world.  In its year-end message dated December 24, 2015, TYTW wrote, “While 2015 was a big year for us, 2016 looks even bigger – and with our talented and inspired team, and your generous assistance, we expect to help the world take its biggest steps yet toward wiping out this harmful practice forever.”

Israel Video Network has also released films on U.S. politics, the scenery and topography of Israel, Jewish musicians’ performances, and the Muslim Brotherhood.

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