Life in Georgia underage brides

• Life minors brides in Georgia

Nobody knows exactly how many underage girls are married off in Georgia. According to the UN Population Fund, at least 17% of girls in Georgia are married before 18 years, the legal age for marriage. But the data is difficult to take into account, as families often bypass the law by not registering the marriage is officially over several years. They hold a wedding in the local churches, or mosques and find a pair of bonded knot in cultural and religious terms.

Life in Georgia underage brides Life in Georgia underage brides

17-year-old bride of Georgian Azerbaijanis living in Kakheti, waiting for arrival of the groom on the wedding day. She met her future husband, who 22 years old, a month before, when it was announced their engagement.

Photojournalist Daro Sulakauri grew up in Georgia and remembers one of her classmate got married when they were both 12 years old. "I had some mixed feelings. It seemed to me that something is wrong. But I did not understand what was going on ", - she says. These feelings came back to Daro, when she began to study the problems of women in Georgia, received a grant from the Human Rights House Network Human Rights Network. Remembering her classmate, she began to ask people about teenage marriages. Shortly afterwards, the photographer received an invitation to a wedding in a small village. At the end of the celebration the young bride began to cry.

Life in Georgia underage brides

bride's classmates came to praise her dress.

"It was very difficult to guess her feelings - says Daro Sulakauri. - whether she was sad? Was she pleased? To me, she was confused. That is why I began to realize I really want to tell a story about it. "

Life in Georgia underage brides

In the rustic living bride preparing for the wedding.

UNICEF called child marriage a fundamental violation of human rights. In Georgia, one of the highest rates in Europe on child marriage. This tradition, which for many centuries, and it is not associated with any particular religion. Reasons for marriage differ depending on the location and social group, but there are similarities. Grooms are almost always older, already finished school and have reached the legal age of marriage.

Life in Georgia underage brides

The bride applies make up before the wedding.

Typically, the groom's mother begins the process of courtship, but Sulakauri faced with couples who met through friends, at school or on the Internet. Girls are not necessarily forced to marry, but the pressure of tradition is very strong.

Life in Georgia underage brides

the 17-year-old bride leaves home.

"They seem to go with the flow. Because of their great-grandmother used to do, and a grandmother, and mother got married at a very young age. Therefore, they believe that this way of life, that it should be ", - says the photographer.

Life in Georgia underage brides

Boys Teenage overcame the car windows at weddings.

People in pictures Sulakauri - Georgian Azerbaijanis, ethnic and religious minorities. One of the brides girls, which met the photographer - Leila, she was 12 years old when she got married and went to live in her husband's family. Her story is particularly shocked Sulakauri. Photographer recalls that in the first few conversations Leila was very frank. "She had these dreams about the future, about who she wants to be, such as a stylist. She wanted to continue their studies and do a bunch of things. "

Life in Georgia underage brides

Friends and relatives dance around the bride, and she receives gifts in the form of money, crying.

A year later Sulakauri contacted again with Leila, and everything changed. "She became a housewife of 13 years. She's not going to go to school, that's for sure. In a sense, this theme is closed for it ", - says the photographer.

Life in Georgia underage brides

The bride and groom step over a sheep slaughtered as part of the wedding ceremony.

In the lives of these girls will leave its mark not only an unfinished school. Sex education in Georgia, in the literal sense does not exist, and Sulakauri says that some girls do not understand that entails marriage, until the day of the wedding. Investigation of Reproductive Health in 2010 showed that 76, 6% of married women aged 15 to 19 years old do not use any one of the modern methods of contraception. Not surprisingly, many young bride pregnant soon after the wedding, which leads to various complications and deterioration in the health of their still developing organisms.

Life in Georgia underage brides

A pair of newlyweds-Muslims from the Azerbaijani diaspora poses in front of the mosque on the wedding day.

When Sulakauri common with these girls, she always remembers his childhood. "It was very different. I was a child as long as she could, you know? "If her work can not give such childhood bride on her pictures, the photographer hopes that it will be able to change the future of the other girls. "I wanted to show the people in my country that this happens. It can push changes. Maybe they will start talking about it: "Maybe it should not be. Maybe it's too early. ""

Life in Georgia underage brides

The Georgian family of Adjara live in the house in the summer, which is common among local farmers. Normally such houses more than a hundred years. Cattle kept on the ground floor, while the family sleeps on the second.

Life in Georgia underage brides

15-year-old Marie lives in Adjara. Most of her contemporaries drop out of school and get married. Her grandmother said that it is a tradition that needs to be transmitted from generation to generation.

Life in Georgia underage brides

Ajar family traveled from one village to another. Daro Sulakauri wanted to capture not only the wedding itself, but also the way of life in these places.

Life in Georgia underage brides

Children bathe in the Green Lake in Adjara.

Life in Georgia underage brides

The children at the entrance to the Ajarian village. Early marriages are very common in this region.

Life in Georgia underage brides

Sali 13 years. Although she is not yet married, her grandmother told the photographer that he sees nothing wrong with early marriages.

Life in Georgia underage brides

The twins Monica and Laura live in Kakheti. They were born when their mother was only 14 years old.

Life in Georgia underage brides

Children ride on a rope on a foggy day. For many locals childhood ends quickly due to early marriages.

Life in Georgia underage brides

14-year-old Tamro Adjara dancing on the engagement of his sister. Although among her contemporaries normally marry, Tamro wants to finish school first.

Life in Georgia underage brides

Women and girls came to rest during an engagement celebration.

Life in Georgia underage brides

Adjara famous mountainous landscapes and, unfortunately, a lot of marriages among minors.