In Plain Sight: The Sorrow And Pain Of Global Girls

Today is the International Day of the Girl Child. It is a U.N. event with a grand name and a powerful mission. Girls around the world, especially in lower-income countries, often face terrible things, from genital mutilation to child marriage to kidnapping. We asked five photographers, who devote much or all of their time to documenting the lives of global girls, to share photos with special significance and talk about the images.

Top photo: Nine months pregnant, Niruta, who is 14, arrives at her wedding in Kagati Village, Kathmandu Valley, Nepal on Jan. 23, 2007. Niruta moved in with the family of her 17-year-old husband-to-be and became pregnant when they were engaged — considered acceptable in her society. (Courtesy of Stephanie Sinclair)

Bottom photos: Sheldean Human of Pretoria, South Africa, was 7 when she was murdered, then raped, by a stranger in 2007. Furrer photographed her schoolmates: “These two girls represent a situation of incredible pain and loss but they are just so dignified. It breaks my heart.” (Mariella Furrer)

See more and read what the photographers had to say.

Related: A Day For Global Girls Gets People Talking, But Then What?

Don’t let the idiotic “Not all men are the same!!” Speech make you feel obligated to love men. To please them. To be beautiful and feminine for them. You are not obligated to do anything.