Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Forced Marriages in Afghanistan
Throughout the world, there are 49 countries that have forced marriage or child bride problems. Forced marriage is simply breach of basic human rights. It is a form of domestic violence and child abuse that contributes to a society’s problems.
Afghanistan is one of the Islamic countries where people hold strongly tight to customs and traditions. Breaking the tradition of marrying young children, both boys and girls, is not only difficult, but near impossible in most urban districts.
In the rural areas of Afghanistan, girls are mostly married between ages of 7 to 11. It is really rare that a girl reaches the age of 16 and is not married. The customs, traditions and community they live in make it impossible for girls to break free from forced marriages. They do not get ask to speak for self desire. The fathers in the families mostly decide, as the mothers do not get involved in the decisions, because they are women.
By marrying children in early ages, families are putting them in situations of isolation, health problems, abuse, suicide and lack of education. They believe, they are doing best for their children and without their consents, they bond them into marriage contracts.
However, they don’t consider that forced marriage affect women and young children adversely. It involves negative situations like threatening behavior, emotional blackmail, physical violence, rape, sexual abuse, suicide and even murder and young children are obviously not in the capacity to handle such pressure.
According to a United Nations’ report, between 60 to 80 percent of marriages in Afghanistan are forced marriages. The report states that the reason why girls are dragged into forced marriages are; repayment of debts; to solve a dispute and to pay family expenses. Moreover, It is obvious among Pashtons, that their widow will never marry someone out of their family, as they always marry the brother of their deceased husband. However in a non-Pashton family, the girl is asked to marry her brother-in-law to get support for the children of her sister. Even worse, some sisters are married to pay for the crime of their brothers by marrying the victims.
So, people in Afghanistan believe it is part of culture to marry a girl before age of 18th and not let her have a say, but they should consider that forcing a girl to marry cannot be regarded as cultural practice in any society. It is a violation of basic human rights. Therefore, women as part of society should be able to freely express their choices about their lifestyle desires.
The video bellow is history of a 12 year girl who was forced into marriage. She ran away to break free from her in-laws, but unfortunately was arrested and in form of punishment by her husband (a Talib) she lost her nose and ear Read more!.
Click play to view her video
Posted by Tahera Nassrat