Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Child Brides

A report from National Geographic. To quote:
Child marriage spans continents, language, religion, caste. In India the girls will typically be attached to boys four or five years older; in Yemen, Afghanistan, and other countries with high early marriage rates, the husbands may be young men or middle-aged widowers or abductors who rape first and claim their victims as wives afterward, as is the practice in certain regions of Ethiopia. Some of these marriages are business transactions, barely adorned with additional rationale: a debt cleared in exchange for an 8-year-old bride; a family feud resolved by the delivery of a virginal 12-year-old cousin. Those, when they happen to surface publicly, make for clear and outrage-inducing news fodder from great distances away. The 2008 drama of Nujood Ali, the 10-year-old Yemeni girl who found her way alone to an urban courthouse to request a divorce from the man in his 30s her father had forced her to marry, generated worldwide headlines and more recently a book, translated into 30 languages: I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced.
In Pakistan, Christian girls are often kidnapped and forced to marry their attackers, as the Orthodox Church News reports, HERE. (Via Pedes Christi)

Meanwhile, will sexual slavery be legalized in Kuwait? The Bad Catholic reports, HERE.

Let us pray for our sisters around the world. Share


Lucy said...

Hi Elena:) Thanks for this reality-awareness check. We often forget how lucky we are to be in this part of the world (especially when we have daughters). Any which way we may try to understand 'culture and diversity in different beliefs or traditions- There is nothing good or right about this situation. It is absolutely deplorable. We definitely need to pour out our prayers. Thank you for posting this.
Lucy xo

elena maria vidal said...

You are welcome, Lucy. I agree. I have had people try to tell me that child marriages are a rare occurrence but they're not.

The North Coast said...

Our relative protection from the exploitation and brutality of child marriages in the Western world owes to much more than luck.

It is because of the very Western ideas that all individual human beings have rights, and that women are fully human, that western women have managed to rise above the condition of our sisters in the Middle East and sub-Saharan Africa. It is thanks principally to the Feminism that has so influenced thought and policy here and in other Western countries, that we women are allowed to grow up whole and have our choice as to who to marry, or not to marry at all, or to how many children we will have, or whether we will have them.

It wasn't always so. Until the relatively enlightened 18th century, European women of all classes were shunted into arranged marriages to men much older, when the girls were as young as 11. The 18th century was a time of great progress in this regard, as people embraced the concept of individual rights and came to view extremely early marriages as barbaric and cruel to the girl involved.

Unknown said...

Women(girls) have a hard lot in many parts around the globe. I remember reading an article years ago about girls having babies in Africa. They were actually maimed upon the birth of their children due to their small pelvis, and many became incontinent which prompted expulsion from society. A small group of plastic surgeons where helping these women with surgery to correct the problem. Horrific what girls have to go through.

The North Coast said...

So much for the nonsense theory that childbirth is better for extremely young mothers than slightly older ones.

One long-ago doctor referred to the human female as "an early-leafing but late-flowering" organism. The sad fact is that we become able to get pregnant a long time before our bodies are mature enough to handle the stresses of pregnancy. Most girls under age 16 are nowhere near full-grown and are damaged by pregnancy and childbirth in ways they would not be if they waited until at least 19 to 20 years of age.

I am very supportive of international efforts to promote women's rights in these backward, violent countries. Ensuring women's rights in these places would make women's lives tolerable and would also mitigate poverty in these countries.

lara77 said...

Immoral, obscene, denigrating, child rape. That this continues today in so many countries is so revolting. These poor girls are treated as objects. Where in this part of the world can grown men actually think marrying a ten year old girl is normal? ONLY if they think she is an object. SHAME on Islam for allowing such barbarism and denigration of women.

May said...

I heartily agree with the earlier comments. However, I wish that we in the West would apply our same sense of justice and individual rights to our pre-born sisters (and brothers, of course).