- The Washington Times - Friday, February 6, 2015

Superstar and human rights activist Angelina Jolie speaks against child marriage in the new issue of Ms. magazine, editors said Friday.

Miss Jolie has taken a stand against the “child bride” practice, citing data that finds as many as one-third of girls in developing countries are forced to marry before age 18.

“These child marriages not only force girls to give up on their dreams and drop out of school, but endanger their very lives when they’re expected to become young mothers,” said Ms. magazine’s editors.

The new article will also profile Miss Jolie’s partnership with Ethiopian filmmakers to raise awareness of child marriage in a 2014 film, “DIFRET.”

The movie title has multiple meanings, including “courage.”

The film recounts the horrifying 1996 story of a 14-year-old Ethiopian teen who spurned a man seeking to marry her; he retaliated by kidnapping and raping her. She escaped with the man’s gun and used it to kill him when he came for her again.

The teen was arrested and charged with murder, which carried a death sentence for her.

After a lengthy trial, a court decided she acted in self-defense and set the teen free.

“DIFRET” has already won awards at the Sundance Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Festival. Although the film was initially banned in Ethiopia, it has since been shown there as well as in theaters worldwide.

Ms. describes itself as the first national magazine “to make feminist voices audible, feminist journalism tenable, and a feminist worldview available to the public.” Since its founding in 1971, Ms. has been associated with leading feminist icons including Eleanor Smeal and Gloria Steinem.

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