Afghan Girls Give More Than Their Hands in Marriage
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
In Afghanistan, the maternal mortality rate is on the rise; hospitals are filling up with anaemic women and girls; and in over 200 districts, high schools are devoid of even a single female pupil. These issues are not unrelated – they are all products of a grave social problem in this country of 35 million people: early child marriages.
According to Sadia Fayeq Ayubi, head of the reproductive health department at the ministry of public health, early marriage (of girls younger than 16 years) is illegal in Afghanistan yet girls as young as 13 are frequently married, often to much older men.
In 2013 alone, 53 child marriages have been reported, said Nazia Faizi, a representative of the rights department at the ministry of women’s affairs.