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The Right to Choose

Life - The Right to Choose
Nibret is eleven -- and they're marrying her off to a man she's never met. Forced marriage isn't unusual in northern Ethiopia. It helps to cement ties between families and establish land rights. Besides, claim Ethiopian scholars, there are no schools for young women, so why not marry them off early?

It's a view shared by some Islamic leaders in northern Nigeria. They believe women's role is to comfort men, and see nothing wrong with marrying girls as young as seven, often in polygamous marriages.

This program reports on the dissonant voices arguing for change in local cultures -- and the calls for reproductive health care and primary education for women. Does widespread discrimination and violence against women now constitute a violation of human rights on a massive scale?

'An illustration of the grotesque consequences of treating women as property or, even worse, as financial liabilities.' Timothy McGettigan, Professor of Sociology, University of Southern Colorado

'A very powerful film. It presents a world where women are valued only for their reproductive and economic uses. They are denied basic rights...Students can gain a lot from this is well suited for graduate and undergraduate classes.' Teaching Sociology (Magazine)

'Suitable for high school and college courses in cultural anthropology, anthropology of gender, anthropology of kinship and marriage, and comparative cultures, as well as general audiences.' Jack David Eller, Community College of Denver, Anthropology Review Database


Main credits

Metcalf, Charlotte (film director)
Guard, Richard (editor of moving image work)
Sabath, Julian (editor of moving image work)
Richards, Jenny (film producer)
Gawin, Luke (film producer)
Lamb, Robert (editor of moving image work)
Stock, Francine (narrator)
Georgis, Original (on-screen participant)
Bello, Mairo (on-screen participant)
El Hassin, Mohummed (on-screen participant)

Other credits

Editors, Richard Guard, Julian Sabath; executive producer, Jenny Richards; series producer, Luke Gawin; series editor, Robert Lamb.

Docuseek subjects

Distributor subjects

African Studies
Developing World
Gender Studies
Global Issues
Human Rights
International Studies
Islamic Studies
Reproductive Rights
Social Justice
United Nations
Women's Studies


; "The Right to Choose"; Bullfrog Films