The fraternal suitors who hoped to procure this young Afghan girl as a wife were more than a little put off by her and her father’s “thanks, but no thanks.” More
Topic: child marriage
Today is International Day of the Girl Child. In honor of this important event, we wanted to let our readers know a bit more about child marriage, and why it’s a bigger problem that you might think. More
Very few young women are able to find a happy ending following a child marriage. While girls who marry under the age of 18 are suddenly at risk for a host of mental disorders, the union statistically subjects them to higher rates of rape, physical abuse, and pregnancy complications. Not to mention being completely powerless in marriages that deem them no more than domestic slaves. But all parents can perhaps sleep a little better tonight as apparently less girls are being married off in South Asia than in previous years.
Honor killings, the truly horrific practice of slaughtering girls in the name of preserving a family’s honor, seem to keep popping up the headlines. Although some Western-based parents are serving time for murdering their daughters, other young ladies lands away will find no such legal protection and must turn to alternative ways to ensure their safety from their families. Lina is such a young girl who, after being caught with a cell phone, was beaten by her brothers and told that she would be executed after dinner.
Child marriage isn’t too common in the United States, but in places like South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, young girls are often married off to much older men. According to Reuters, a girl under 18 is married off every three seconds in the aforementioned countries. The practice is often illegal but not enforced, and so underage girls find themselves bartered off without their consent. A critical part of this epidemic, however, is that it perpetuates the ideology that girls have nothing to contribute to their families.