Editor’s note: Human rights groups have said that in the eastern tribal areas of Nangarhar province, women are sold in an aberration of arranged marriage dowry traditions. A public awareness campaign has begun to bring light to the practice.

In the past thirty years in Afghanistan we have not slept with peace, even one night. Day by day we lose our beloved ones. But this time it is not about death of our loved ones; it is about selling them. In the Dur Baba District in the Nangarhar Province in eastern Afghanistan, there is a huge bazaar where people buy and sell their young girls and women as brides.

This has been reported this on the news, and a family friend confirmed for me that it is true. The women and girls are lined up, wearing burqas. The report said prices start at $1,000 US and the top price is about $10,000. The men will observe the women’s hands and then bid on their choice. The age of these girls and women ranges from five to sixty. The man with the most money buys his new bride and then the girls and women start their new terrifying lives.

Where is the law of our country? How can women be sold in front of our eyes? The supporters of such sales say: “We are men; we don’t want our women to study, to work, to watch TV. We don’t want them to marry by their choice. I can cut a woman’s nose and lips, hips and legs, because I am a man. I burn them and throw acid on them because I am a man. No one will talk or walk with my women because I am a man.”

How can any man with feelings sell women in the streets covered in a burqa? This is about the money. The buyers don’t have the mentality to think about the person they are buying—their money will be spent. Who cares about these poor women and girls?

Meanwhile, the women don’t know that life is different outside the Afghan borders, that people don’t sell women and that life is not always a nightmare.

Why doesn’t the Taliban, if they must kill as the “agents of Islam,” why don’t they go out and kill these inhuman people who trade their women in an open bazaar like a carpet or rug?

We can lose ourselves in these dark problems. I pray for the day that every Afghan girl will not lose hope and may find her shining star and a safe life.

By Aysha

Photo by Alida Bata