#15Girls, NPR global healthIn many countries, the decisions teens make at 15 can determine the rest of their lives. But, often, girls don't have much say — parents, culture and tradition decide for them. In a new series, #15Girls, NPR explores the lives of 15-year-old girls who are seeking to take control and change their fate.
Nimmu, 15, on the terrace of the Veerni Institute. To stay in school, she needs to pass a national test this March. The problem: "I'm not a great student," she says. Because child marriage is illegal in India, we can't use her full name.
Poulomi Basu/VII Photo
She's a teenager with a cellphone, surfing the Internet. And she's a Syrian refugee who works in the fields up to 14 hours a day. That's the new life of 15-year-old Fatmeh, seen here in the living room area of her family's makeshift shelter.
Dalia Khamissy for NPR
Aniket Sathe, 15, is in a program that's trying to persuade India's boys to treat girls as their equals. Here he's pictured with his younger sister, Aarati, 12, waiting for the rain to stop before walking her to school.
Poulomi Basu / VII Photo/for NPR
Leslie Morales (from left), Soraya Mohamud and Tanjum Choudhury discuss what it's like to be 15. All three are sophomores at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Md.
Lea Hatouni is a Christian living in the predominantly Muslim Middle East. Like so many other Lebanese, she expects to have to leave Lebanon to start her career after college.
Zanele Themba (on the left with the pink backpack strap) admires American teens because they "know what they want and go for it." She's posing with classmates from the Sapphire Secondary School who participated in a model U.N. in Johannesburg.
Courtesy of Youth@SAIIA