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Tuesday, November 2, 2021

People suffering from poverty and hunger in Afghanistan, forced to sell their own 9-year-old daughter

In recent months, many displaced Afghan families grappling with poverty and hunger have been forced to marry off their barely-adolescent daughters in exchange for money and sustenance that would ensure their survival.
One such heart-wrenching story is of nine-year-old Parwana Malik. The license was sold by his family to a 55-year-old Korban last month. This has been claimed in a CNN report. Parwana's family of eight, living in a camp for internally displaced people in Afghanistan's Badghis province, barely made a living, and foreign aid had almost run out since the Taliban takeover.

In one of his interviews with CNN, Parwana's father Abdul Malik revealed that he had sold his 12-year-old daughter a few months back. Now, he is forced to sell another daughter "to keep the other family members alive". Since this decision to sell the daughter, they are broken and drowned in shame.

Parwana on her behalf said that she wants to study and become a teacher. But the dire financial circumstances of his family have closed this door for him. When asked about her impending "marriage", she fears that the "old man" will beat her up and force her to work in his house.

Two days later, the buyer reached the home of the Qurban Malik family, paid Parwana's father 200,000 afghanis (about $2,200) in sheep, land and cash, and took the girl along. Abdul Malik said at the parting of his daughter's new owner, "This is your bride. Please take care of her and don't beat her." In response, Korban weeps and assures the father that he will be kind to Parwana and treat her like a member of the family.

In nearby Ghor Province, a 10-year-old Magul is worried that she will be married off to a 70-year-old man because the family has taken a loan from the man. "I don't want to leave my parents. If they let me go, I'll kill myself," Magul told CNN.

Like Parwana and Magul, the future of many Afghan girls is shrouded in uncertainty. With the Taliban banning women from secondary education and increasing poverty, more and more girls are being pushed into this market of marriage.