There was a story on a CNN blog (Amanpour) about little girls aged between 5 and 11 who are being forcefully married off to men old enough to be their grandpas! I was filled with rage and sorrow, seeing little girls, who have the right to a beautiful bright future, being married off to very old men.
The writer, Samuel Burke, told the story of an 11 year old being married off to a 40 year old in rural Afghanistan.
According to the story, the 11 year old talked about how sad she was to be engaged because she had hoped to become a teacher. Her favourite class was Dari, the local language, before she had to leave her studies to get married.
She is one of the 51 million child brides around the world today. And it’s not just Muslims; it happens across many cultures and regions, according to the writer.
He went on to narrate stories and show pictures of girls as young as six and five being married off to men 40 years their senior.
These cases are common in places like India, Afghanistan, Nepal, Yemen and other parts of the world.
It’s so absurd that in this day and age, there are inhumane and ruthless people under the guise of culture that have the audacity to hand over an innocent girl to man that old when what she should really be doing is going to school. This definitely puts a halt to their future and crushes every dream.
Do these people even know what marriage means? Do they think about the fact that these girls have rights and are totally being abused; do they think about the fact that they won’t have an education? Doesn’t the thought of them becoming sexually active at such a tender age bother them?
Whether it’s for the love of money or complying with cultural demands, it’s really not fair at all. In fact, the men who accept to marry these girls and those who give them out are one and the same - heartless, spiteful people.
I wish we could have human rights activists speak out on such issues and help these girls whose lives and dreams are being crushed by such inhumane cultural traditions.
We hear activists speak out very assertively on gay rights and the like; I just wish they could give maximum priority to such issues as well.
I’m forced to suspect that the leaders in these countries hold the same beliefs seeing as they don’t punish or condemn such cases. If only everyone especially those with authority could wake up and fight for the rights of these little girls.
Child marriages are ugly and barbaric. They should be banned and the culprits heavily punished.