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"Here Comes The Child Bride"

We, girls have always imagined our wedding day. We have dreamed of all the decorations and desserts, being a princess for a day with the perfect dress. And let’s not forget about the boy at the end of the aisle. This was always a part of our imagination and just a dream for the moment. But, there are girls just like us out there who have our dreams come true for them. Can you believe that? You may be thinking that they are one of those lucky girls, but for them it’s nothing like that. Our dreams are their nightmares.

Khadija Rasoul, age 13 and Basgol Sakhi, age 14 live in Kabul, Afghanistan. Both girls had been fleeing for two days from their village on a bus along the rutted roads and over mountain passes. They had been fleeing from their illegal, forced marriages to much, much older men (elder men). They had made it to the Herat Province at a checkpoint, which the bus they were in stopped at. A police officer checked the bus and spotted both Khadija and Basgol disguised in boys’ clothing and caught them.

Khadija and Basgol begged the officer not to send them back to their village, but he ignored their pleas and sent them back to their remote village in the Ghor Province. Once they were returned, they were publicly and viciously beaten for daring to run away from their husbands. Their tormentors even videotaped the abuse. The spectators were mostly armed men wearing camouflage uniforms. At least three of them videotaped the beatings of the girls. There were no women present.

There is one point where the man who was torturing the girls hit one of the girls with a leather strap so hard that his wrist hurt and he hands the strap to another man. Neither Khadija nor Basgol flinched visibly at the beatings. Although there is a point where tears were seen on of the girls’ face.

Each girl was sentenced to 40 lashes. The spectators counted the lashes out loud. But, they seemed to lose count several times and had to start all over. All this toture for marriage.

We, girls take many things for granted and seem to be unaware of how girls of different cultures live. Most of these girls have no escape from these kinds of lives that they live.

According to a Unicef study from 2000 to 2008, 43% of brides in Afghanistan are under the age of 18. Even though the Afghan constitution forbids the marriage of girls under the age of 16. But, tribal customs often allow marriages once puberty is reached or even earlier.
For some girls that oh-so special wedding day isn’t so special and there is no escape.
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Secretcolor said...
Sept. 14, 2011 at 2:01 pm
Great article! It is really eye-opening to learn whaty happens to girls in other countries.
 
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