Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

January-16-07

Afghanistan: Drought-Stricken Villagers Resort to Selling Child-Brides

A second drought in Afghanistan has affected over two-and-a-half million villagers, some of whom are selling their young daughters as brides in order to feed and clothe their families. An article in The Guardian earlier this month documented the recent surge of bride-selling in Afghanistan that has resulted from two disastrous droughts to hit Afghanistan in the past three years. The Guardian reports that more than 80 percent of Afghans depend on agriculture, and the droughts resulted in some farmers losing between 80 and 100 percent of their crops. Additionally, areas affected by the drought experienced higher rates of malnutrition, infant mortality, and difficulty accessing water and firewood. Abdul Zahir, the head of the men's council in Houscha, said of the selling of girl children, "There is widespread poverty. We have to sell off our children to survive. We are not proud of it, but we have to do it."

According to Refugees International, an organization that provides humanitarian aid and assistance for displaced persons, about five percent of households in Afghanistan rely on selling the girl children as the main source of income. "I need to sell my daughters because of the drought," one mother, Sahatgul, 30, told The Guardian. "We don't have enough food and the bride price will enable us to buy food... We were not so desperate before. Now I have to marry [my daughters] younger." Additionally, families in need of money and food are accepting lower bride prices for their daughters; Refugees International reports that the price has decreased from $1,800 or 100 goats or sheep to less than $300 or 20 goats or sheep.

A separate article in The Independent points out that the criminalization of growing poppies also may have contributed to the increase of child-bride sales. Opium cultivation dropped 96 percent in the past year under a British-led eradication program, and farmers are having difficulties paying back loans to drug traffickers, according to The Independent.

really funny pictures funny pictures funny images funny photos

Media Resources: The Guardian 1/7/07; The Independent 1/16/07; Refugees International


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

8/29/2014 Terry O'Neill Was One of Hundreds Arrested Calling for Immigration Reform at White House Rally - Thursday, nearly 300 people were arrested in front of the White House during a rally calling on President Barack Obama to halt mass deportations. . . .
 
8/29/2014 BREAKING: Fifth Circuit Blocks Texas TRAP Law Provision! - WASHINGTON - The Feminist Majority Foundation applauds U.S. . . .
 
8/29/2014 Domestic Violence Victims May Now Qualify For Asylum in the US - A recent case has opened the door for victims of domestic violence abroad to qualify for asylum in the United States. The Justice Department's Board of Immigration Appeals ruled for the first time on Tuesday that a victim of domestic violence fit a specific criterion for asylum: persecution for membership in a particular social group. . . .