Child Marriage: There Is a Solution
1st Place



2018 High School Winners

2018 Advancing Women and Girls


By: Ramya Iyer

Westside High School
Omaha, NE


Ramya is in the ninth grade at Westside High School in Omaha, Nebraska. The World of 7 Billion contest was forwarded to her in an email, and without any prior filmmaking experience she submitted a winning video! She said it was often difficult to read the stories and experiences of child brides, but it also motivated her to translate their hardship into her video and inspire people to take action. Ramya herself was particularly struck by the fact that over 1 billion women will have been child brides by 2050. As for the population connection, Ramya shared that she never thought about the link between human numbers and women and girls, but it became clearly apparent after doing research for her video.

Ramya recognized that the “symbolism should be strong” in her video because she wanted to represent child brides everywhere but knew she couldn’t “show every child that has gone through this.” The four faceless girls in her film represent the many mil­lions of girls married off before age 18 worldwide and to accurately portray them, Ramya studied the cultures and proper dress of child brides from different countries. All of the visuals in her film, graphics and animation alike, are original. Ramya says that future participants in the contest should think about what kind of video “would affect them the most” if they were watching it, then create that film!

Ramya is in her school’s journalism program, plays the trombone in marching band, and participates in mock trial club. She enjoys creating graphic designs for her school yearbook, other publications, and businesses and organizations around Omaha. She plans to donate her prize money to Nanhi Kali, an NGO that puts Indian girls through primary school and that her family has supported in the past. Looking forward, Ramya is interested in pursuing journalism as a career and designing publications.