A message from an 8-year old bride
By Wazhma Frogh
March 4, 2004
Kabol, Afghanistan -- I want to share my insights
with you and all people around the world. I realised how marginalized
of the countries in the world, but this is very painful that children
pay a high price for being a girl even in childhood. This is not
acceptable in the context of human rights.
I am a researcher on women's issues in Afghanistan,
and I go around the country to find out how women are suffering
as a result of their gender and being seen as inferior human beings
in the Afghan cultural context.
Last month I was in a province in the southeast
of Afghanistan. I met several women and discussed their lives
and problems. I figured out how their rights are massacred
under the shadow of men's ignorance.
I met an old woman who introduced me to her daughter-in-law.
A child of 7 or 8 years stood in front of me. I asked
the old woman who is she? The old woman confirmed it was her
daughter-in-law. I found a thin, depressed child dressed as
a newly wed
bride. I felt a harsh pain in my heart and I couldn't
stop my tears flowing down my face.
I requested to talk to the
girl in private. I asked her: "Do you know
you are married?"
She said, "I was sold at R.s 5 Lacs by my father who
is a preacher of the village to a 40-year-old man as his
shocked to hear such words from a child. She pleaded with tears
in her eyes to convey her message to everyone out there
promised her to do so.
This is her message to all:
We people call ourselves human and many of us are
proud to be Muslims, but please bring me a verse of our sacred
recommends selling of your daughter of 8 years when you are
The man I am married has the
same age as my father. It is very hard for me to accept
and fulfil his
desires. I often don't understand what he
says, so he beats me a lot.
His mother and his other two wives torture me
and say that if I was a good girl my father wouldn't have
where is my fault? That my father sold me because he
had nothing to eat and because I am a girl?
I ask all you parents, if you can't feed your
children, why do you bring them to this world and make them suffer
without sin? I
had killed me after I was born rather than giving me
this life that I am having now.
people out there, please do something for us, for poor children,
and save the innocent souls from such
future fathers, to provide equal opportunities
for their children because God has given the same
rights to sons and
Our religion commands believers to feed, educate
and care for
their children until they are adults.
Please provide job opportunities for our mothers so
that they can be among income earners at home
and gain the right to make decisions.
I also want to tell religious preachers and guides
to please learn and understand
for yourselves what
and then teach others.
This was all she said. I know some will not believe
that a girl of that age said all these things but believe it because
have been spoken from the heart of an innocent victim, who
a high price for being a girl.
I hereby convey her message to you all since I have
promised her that I will disseminate her message to all in the
as I can and I request you all to support me in this responsibility
and publish or convey her message wherever you can. These are the
words of a child in the real role of a woman at age 8.
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