Sunday, September 10, 2006

Child Brides in Afghanistan

A high proportion of marriages in Afghanistan involve girls below the legal age, according to reports from the Ministry
of Women's Affairs and NGOs. As many as 57 percent involve young women under 16 years of age, some of them as young as nine. More often, than not these young girls are married to middle-aged men who have had wives in the past and may even have children from previous marriages.

I did some independent research and found that according to Afghanistan's new constitution, the minimum age of marriage
for females is 16 and for males 18. However, in rural and even some urban areas the tradition of marrying off daughters while young in order to receive money remains common among the poor.

Are these young girls then seen as a commodity that can be sold off? How desperately poor would her parents be that they need to marry her off in order to be able to provide for themselves?


stacy h said...

I recently read an article about young girls from Cambodia that are sold into prostitution. Malika's blog reminded me of reading how vulnerable young girls are to human rights abuses. Sadly, Cambodia has earned a reputation as one of the worst places for human trafficking. What struck me the most was reading about this girl named Pouv who was sold by her mother for a mere $10 at the age of seven. Pouv explained how she was then “fattened up and given treatments to whiten her skin...She was sold to a man who chained her to a bed and raped her until she fainted. Angry, he returned her to the brothel, where she was punished by being held in a chicken cage; the pimps put chili peppers in her vagina and beat her.” The article continued to say that for three years, Pouv had up to 30 clients a day. It boggles my mind that some people could harm those who are innocent and helpless. It doesn’t seem fair and awakens a sickening feeling. People do not deserve to be treated like objects.

hewhowould said...

I don’t know what to say. The abuse of children is virtually incomprehensible. The problems I see is how can we as a society stop it and who do we blame or hold accountable for the harmful treatment of the kids? Do we blame the family, the mother and the father, for selling their daughter off when they them selves can’t even feed her? Do we blame the governments for not activity searching for these prostitution camps and eliminating them? I know its awful but we must first understand it and then ask our selves how far are we going to go to stop the abuse of children in the prostitution camps.