Kabul: Even as Afghanistan has been completely taken over by the hardline-Islamist group – Taliban, imposing their ugly rules and regulations across the country, the nation descends into an economic peril with their age old practice raising up its ugly head – that of selling their young daughter into marriage.
In recent months, many displaced Afghans have been fighting for survival; with families struggling to fend for a day’s meal, as starvation and poverty grips profusely across the country. Adolescent daughters are married off in exchange for money and sustenance that would ensure the survival of the family members.
One such heart-wrenching story is of nine-year-old Parwana Malik, whose family sold her to 55-year-old Qorban last month, reported CNN. Living in a camp for internally displaced people in the warn-torn country’s Badghis province, Parwana’s family of eight could barely make ends meet with jobs hard to come by and foreign aid drying up since the Taliban takeover.
In an interview to CNN, Parwana’s father Abdul Malik revealed he had already sold his 12-year-old daughter a couple of months ago. Now, he was forced to sell off another daughter “to keep other family members alive”, a decision that’s left him “broken” with guilt, shame and worry.
On her part, Parwana said she wanted to study and become a teacher. But her family’s dire financial circumstances have closed this door for her. Asked about her upcoming “marriage”, she fears that the “old man” would beat her and force her to work in his house.
Two days later, the buyer Qorban arrived at the Malik family’s home, paid 200,000 Afghanis (about $2,200) in the form of sheep, land and cash to Parwana’s father, and drove off with the girl.
There are scores of such families who though reluctant, are forced to ‘sell-off’ their daughters or marry them off to fend for their remaining family members.