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New Video Series Explores 'Hidden Connection' Between Climate Change and Child Marriage

Hidden Connections,” a thought-provoking digital video series premiering today, explores one of the human consequences of climate change — specifically its little-known link to child marriage. TakePart, the digital division of Participant Media, and the Thomson Reuters Foundation teamed up to produce the three-part series, which gives an intimate look at the lives of two young girls living in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh is one of the countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, with rising sea levels and extreme heat connected to increasing catastrophic flooding and cyclones. In the country of about 150 million people, 30 percent of girls are married before their 15th birthday.

Though climate change’s link to poverty and food insecurity is well documented, its by-product of child marriage is not widely known. Hidden Connections illustrates how the lives of two teenage girls — Brishti and Razia — were forever altered after their families’ farms and homes were lost because of river erosion. As a means of survival, many families living in rural areas are forced to relocate to the capital of Dhaka. “Hidden Connections” introduces the viewer to the girls and offers intimate access to their lives, friends, and family to demonstrate how climate change’s deleterious impact on food and income is also shaping social norms and women's progress in the country. See Part One, below:

Monique Villa, CEO of the Thomson Reuters Foundation, added: "At the Thomson Reuters Foundation we shed light on the world’s underreported stories, from human trafficking to climate change to land and property rights." Why these specific subjects? Because they are, in fact, interconnected. This partnership with TakePart aims to showcase some of the dramatic but less known consequences of climate change.”

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“Everyone was puzzled when we said we were making a film about climate change and child marriage: People see them as two separate spheres,” said Liz Mermin, the film’s director and Director of Digital at the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “But it was so clear that as climate change drives families to the cities, everything changes — and for girls, often for the worse.”

In 2014, Participant Media launched a year-long series called “TakePart World,” which investigated the myths and misconceptions people across the globe have about the developing world, and spotlights the faces and voices of those driving progress towards a sustainable future for the world’s poorest. Key issues examined included nutrition, water and sanitation, education, and women and girls; the series highlighted stories that proved that with the right support, girls and women can be powerful leaders essential to building healthier, better-educated, and more sustainable communities.


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