Early Marriage is Cruel Form of Violence in Afghanistan

© AFP 2022 / WAKIL KOHSARIn this photograph taken on October 10, 2014, an Afghan groom (C) talks with his bride during a mass wedding ceremony in which one hundred couples were married on the outskirts of Kabul
In this photograph taken on October 10, 2014, an Afghan groom (C) talks with his bride during a mass wedding ceremony in which one hundred couples were married on the outskirts of Kabul - Sputnik International
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Over 30 percent of Afghan’s female population get married while they are still children. The Ministry of Women’s Rights is eager to introduce a five year plan to combat early marriage as it negatively affects their new family.

According to a recent UN study, Afghanistan is amongst 41 countries in which at least 30 percent of women enter marriage as a minor.

“Early marriage creates preconditions for gender inequality and young families have no stable material grounds.,” Nabila Mosleh, director of Ministry of Women’s Rights, told Sputnik.

According to the ministry’s director, another key factor is sexual abuse, which at an early age can undermine a fragile body. The results can be seen in unhealthy offspring. Even if an under aged girl gives birth to a healthy child, the question of motherhood does not vanish into thin air.

“Any mother must be psychologically ready for childrearing,” Mosleh said. “But can children raise children? The answer, of course, is no.”

Apart from that, in Afghanistan the problem of child bearing is not yet solved. Both women and their fetus often die during childbirth as sanitary norms are not met.

According to recent data, only in Kabul over the last year, for every 1,000 women giving birth, 320 died in the process.

Girl plays outside during a wedding party in Kabul, Afghanistan - Sputnik International
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“In legal terms the task of our agency is to ensure that early marriages fall under Articles 26 and 27 of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (IRA), according to which all forms of violence against women are prohibited. We must specify and legally determine that early marriages are detrimental to Afghan society,” announced Mosleh to Sputnik.

According to Mosleh, the majority of early marriages are violent. Young girls are given up for marriage against their will. In most cases their husbands are much older.

The five year plan to combat early marriage is an initiative of the Ministry of Women’s Right. The program’s aim is to change the consciousness of Afghan citizens as marriage between children, or between children and adults is a cruel act.

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