From birth, Kadiga Mohammed was set to marry her first and eldest cousin, a traditional practice known as 'absuma' in her community in the Afar Region of Ethiopia. When she turned 16, her parents began to prepare for the wedding. But Kadiga was filled with dread -- she did not want to marry the man they had selected for her.
Emmanuela Alimlim is from Kenya. Her mother gave birth to her at age 15 and Emmanuela's sister gave birth to her first child at age 15 as well. After seeing several of her classmates drop out of school due to early pregnancies, Emmanuela decided that it was time to do something about early and forced marriage and teen pregnancy in her community.
When Emmy-award winning filmmakers Sarah Moshman and Dana Michelle Cook discovered a dearth of positive and uplifting content for women in television and film they decided to take matters into their own hands. They started a production company called Heartfelt Productions in 2009 with the stated objective of making content that inspired and uplifted women.
Every year, approximately 51 million children under the age of five are not registered at birth, a disproportionate number of whom are girls. The Girls Count Act is a statement that the United States will proactively support every child's right to receive legal and social benefits through registration at birth.