The Afghan Women’s Writing Project is participating in a worldwide campaign this month to end early marriage in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other countries where girls are forced by their parents to marry when they are as young as ten years old.
AWWP’s writing on child marriage is being shared with Breakthrough’s campaign, “Nation Against Early Marriage.“
Here are the eight essays:
- Marrying Young in Afghanistan, by Arifa
- Why Parents Must Stop Marrying Girls Early, by Fatima F.
- Eight Daughters for Sale, by Leeda
- Exchange for a Cow, by Marzila
- Early Marriage: Selling the Daughters, by N.
- Early Marriage: Not the Only Destiny, by N.
- When the Nightingale Stopped Singing, by Nasima
- Why the Girls Get Sold, by Sitara
Human Rights Watch has produced a 15-page briefing paper titled “Afghanistan: Ending Child Marriage and Domestic Violence,” which highlights the health and economic consequences of marriage under age 18 and violence against women and girls in Afghanistan.
HWR cites a 2010 mortality survey by the Ministry of Public Health that found:
- 53 percent of women in the 25-49 age group were married by the age of 18
- 12 percent of Afghan girls aged 15-19 became pregnant or gave birth
- 47 percent of deaths of women aged 20 to 24 were related to pregnancy. The survey said one Afghan woman died every two hours because of pregnancy.
The group reported that an estimated 2,000 Afghan women and girls attempt suicide by setting themselves on fire each year, which is linked to domestic violence and early or forced marriages.
In a letter of September 4, 2013, HRW called on Afghan President Hamid Karzai to make full enforcement of the law on the Elimination of Violence Against Women (the EVAW law) a priority for his last year in office.
AWWP’s writing on child marriage is being shared with Breakthrough’s campaign, “Nation Against Early Marriage.” Photo: Amina R. (not her real name) sleeps with her newborn baby in a hospital in Kabul. © 2002 Paula Bronstein/Getty Images.