Nepal has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world: 37% of girls are married before they turn 18. The Lost Girls, which premiered in May 2017 on CBS News, takes a closer look at the practice and one young woman trying to end it.
The film follows CBS News Correspondent Reena Ninan as she travels to a rural Nepali village to meet Rachana: an inspiring young woman working with families and communities to end child marriage. Nearly a child bride herself, Rachana understands only too well the dangers of the practice. After avoiding her own marriage as a child she decided as an adult to educate others. Now, she travels around rural Nepal talking to community leaders and parents about why girls should not be married until they are physically or mentally ready. She even met the Prime Minister of Nepal to discuss the issue.
Girls Not Brides members Unchained at Last and Human Rights Watch joined our Executive Director, Lakshmi Sundaram and Board Chair, Mabel van Oranje, on the set of CBS News to discuss the film and how to address child marriage in Nepal and other parts of the world.
“On top of putting in place a law we need to work directly with girls to empower them so that they know and are able to exercise their rights” Lakshmi Sundaram
“If you want to change traditions…that needs to be done by people who are trusted by the community. What is really important is the work of local activists” Mabel van Oranje
In the time it has taken to read this article 16 girls under the age of 18 have been married
Each year, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18
That is 23 girls every minute
Nearly 1 every 3 seconds