“Playing the Wife” is part of the INDESTRUCTIBLES project, by Xavier Aldekoa & Alfons Rodriguez.
More than 125 million living women in Africa got married before their 18th birthday. Margaret is one of them. She is thirteen years old; lives in a small village in the north of Uganda and last summer got married with Joseph, 25.
At its heart, child marriage is rooted in gender inequality and poverty. Since 1990, the prevalence of child marriage in Africa has halved among the richest; the level remains unchanged among the poorest. Margaret’s fate was already written: girls in rural areas and from the poorest households are twice as likely to become child brides as girls from urban areas or from the richest households.
Social pressure is also one of the main drivers of child marriage: family honour, social norms, religious and/or customary laws force some of the girls and men to be involved in child marriages.