When many of us think of forced child marriage, we think of girls being married to older men. Girls as young as eight in Mozambique and Zambia are forced to go to camps where they are shown how to please a man in bed in order to prepare them for married life, activists said at an international conference on ending child marriage.
The Madras high court has rejected a man's plea to make his wife undergo a DNA test to decide the paternity of their child, stating that if the marriage exists it should be “presumed“ that the child is a legitimate one.
A 14-year-old tribal girl from Thane was allegedly raped by a young man at a marriage function which she had gone to attend, police said today.
Donald Trump's success in the race for the White House may well ride on the support of Republican evangelicals made wary as the front-runner reveals a more liberal side to his social views. Afghan women who set themselves on fire may do so to escape abuse at home, believing they will die instantly. Over an eight-year period, photographer Stephanie Sinclair has investigated the phenomenon of child marriage in India, Yemen, Afghanistan, Nepal and Ethiopia. Because the wedding was illegal and a secret, except to the invited guests, and because marriage rites in Rajasthan are often conducted late at night, it was well into the afternoon before the three girl brides in this dry farm settlement in the north of India began to prepare themselves for their sacred vows. These were things we learned in a Rajasthan village during Akha Teej, a festival that takes place during the hottest months of spring, just before the monsoon rains, and that is considered an auspicious time for weddings. The outsider's impulse toward child bride rescue scenarios can be overwhelming: Snatch up the girl, punch out the nearby adults, and run.
The people who work full-time trying to prevent child marriage, and to improve women's lives in societies of rigid tradition, are the first to smack down the impertinent notion that anything about this endeavor is simple.
After celebrating with female relatives at a wedding party, Yemeni brides Sidaba and Galiyaah are veiled and escorted to a new life with their husbands.
This group of young brides in a village in western Yemen were quiet and shy—until talk turned to education. Asia, a 14-year-old mother, washes her new baby girl at home in Hajjah while her 2-year-old daughter plays. Nujood Ali was ten when she fled her abusive, much older husband and took a taxi to the courthouse in Sanaa, Yemen. Kandahar policewoman Malalai Kakar arrests a man who repeatedly stabbed his wife, 15, for disobeying him.
Long after midnight, five-year-old Rajani is roused from sleep and carried by her uncle to her wedding. Rajani and her boy groom barely look at each other as they are married in front of the sacred fire. Although early marriage is the norm in her small Nepali village, 16-year-old Surita wails in protest as she leaves her family's home, shielded by a traditional wedding umbrella and carried in a cart to her new husband's village. When Sunil's parents arranged for her marriage at age 11, she threatened to report them to police in Rajasthan, India. The bride wore pink, a tiny tee-shirt with a butterfly on it that was suitable for the five-year-old girl, but sadly her impending marriage was a world away from being age-appropriate. The startling revelations shed light on the millions of women around the world who are forced to wed before they are even teenagers, such as Tehani, a six-year-old from Yemen who became a wife before she even knew how babies were made. The remote Indian village of Rajasthan is spotlighted in the shocking study and the focus of a National Geographic article that reveals how the illicit ceremonies are conducted late at night, with the drunken grooms arriving by car instead of the customary elephant or the lavishly saddled horses. Joining Rajani on her wedding night were her aunts, Radha and Gora, 15 and 13, who unlike her were old enough to understand their fate. One tells of Ghulam, the 11-year-old bride from Afghanistan who was married off in 2005, forced to drop out of school, giving up on her dream of becoming a teacher one day. Some marriages are business transactions – such as a debt cleared in exchange for an 8-year-old bride or the resolution of a family feud by handing over a 12-year-old virgin – while others aim to unite families and combat overwhelming poverty.
Mohammed described the arrangement called shighar, in which two men provide each other with new brides by exchanging female relatives. Near the end of her trip to Yemen, Gorney received a dispatch that highlighted the horror of the illegal matrimonies.
It is estimated that about 51 million girls below age 18 are currently married, often under the cover of darkness and in secret. In many cases, the girls are lorded over by their husbands and in-laws, leaving them vulnerable to domestic violence as well as physical, sexual and verbal abuse.


Underage wives who are lucky enough to escape from their husbands end up living in poverty, or worse.
It is estimated that over the next decade, 100 million more girls — or roughly 25,000 girls a day — will marry before they turn 18 if this issue is not urgently addressed. Courtney Stodden Calls Much-Older Husband ‘Dad’Courtney Stodden Can’t Spend The Night With Hubby On Couples Therapy Due To Child Labor Laws!
The outsider’s impulse toward child bride rescue scenarios can be overwhelming: Snatch up the girl, punch out the nearby adults, and run.
The people who work full-time trying to prevent child marriage, and to improve women’s lives in societies of rigid tradition, are the first to smack down the impertinent notion that anything about this endeavor is simple. But inside a few of the communities in which parent-arranged early marriage is common practice—amid the women of Rajani’s settlement, for example, listening to the mournful sound of their songs to the bathing brides—it feels infinitely more difficult to isolate the nature of the wrongs being perpetrated against these girls. Remember this too: The very idea that young women have a right to select their own partners—that choosing whom to marry and where to live ought to be personal decisions, based on love and individual will—is still regarded in some parts of the world as misguided foolishness.
So in communities of pressing poverty, where nonvirgins are considered ruined for marriage and generations of ancestors have proceeded in exactly this fashion—where grandmothers and great-aunts are urging the marriages forward, in fact, insisting, I did it this way and so shall she—it’s possible to see how the most dedicated anti-child -marriage campaigner might hesitate, trying to fathom where to begin.
Maya, 8, and Kishore, 13, pose for a wedding photo inside their new home, the day after the Hindu holy day of Akshaya Tritiya in North India. Through its influence and the proper use of foreign aid, Australia can help end child marriage and ensure these girls' rights and well-being are protected.
They squatted side by side on the dirt, a crowd of village women holding sari cloth around them as a makeshift curtain, and poured soapy water from a metal pan over their heads.
No one could afford an elephant or the lavishly saddled horses that would have been ceremonially correct for the grooms' entrance to the wedding, so they were coming by car and were expected to arrive high-spirited and drunk. We stared miserably at the 5-year-old Rajani as it became clear that the small girl in the T-shirt, padding around barefoot and holding the pink plastic sunglasses someone had given her, was also to be one of the midnight ceremony's brides. An uncle lifted her gently from her cot, hoisted her over one of his shoulders, and carried her in the moonlight toward the Hindu priest and the smoke of the sacred fire and the guests on plastic chairs and her future husband, a ten-year-old boy with a golden turban on his head.
Forced early marriage thrives to this day in many regions of the world—arranged by parents for their own children, often in defiance of national laws, and understood by whole communities as an appropriate way for a young woman to grow up when the alternatives, especially if they carry a risk of her losing her virginity to someone besides her husband, are unacceptable.
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. Their educations will be truncated not only by marriage but also by rural school systems, which may offer a nearby school only through fifth grade; beyond that, there's the daily bus ride to town, amid crowded-in, predatory men.
Throughout much of India, for example, a majority of marriages are still arranged by parents. I hated to see him," Tahani (in pink) recalls of the early days of her marriage to Majed, when she was 6 and he was 25. Most of the girls, who were married between the ages of 14 and 16, had never attended school, but all say they still hope for an education. Asia is still bleeding and ill from childbirth yet has no education or access to information on how to care for herself. Child marriage is illegal in India, so ceremonies are often held in the wee hours of morning. By tradition, the young bride is expected to live at home until puberty, when a second ceremony transfers her to her husband.
Parents often remove their daughters from school even before they are engaged to limit their interactions with boys.
In Afghanistan alone, it is believed that approximately 57 percent of girls wed before the legal age of 16.
Some girls turn to prostitution to earn a meager income and enter brothels, where they are subjected to horrific abuse.
No one could afford an elephant or the lavishly saddled horses that would have been ceremonially correct for the grooms’ entrance to the wedding, so they were coming by car and were expected to arrive high-spirited and drunk.
We stared miserably at the 5-year-old Rajani as it became clear that the small girl in the T-shirt, padding around barefoot and holding the pink plastic sunglasses someone had given her, was also to be one of the midnight ceremony’s brides. Forced early marriage thrives to this day in many regions of the world—arranged by parents for their own children, often in defiance of national laws, and understood by whole communities as an appropriate way for a young woman to grow up when the alternatives, especially if they carry a risk of her losing her virginity to someone besides her husband, are unacceptable. Their educations will be truncated not only by marriage but also by rural school systems, which may offer a nearby school only through fifth grade; beyond that, there’s the daily bus ride to town, amid crowded-in, predatory men.


Two of the brides, the sisters Radha and Gora, were 15 and 13, old enough to understand what was happening.
The only local person to have met the grooms was the father of the two oldest girls, a slender gray-haired farmer with a straight back and a drooping mustache. The middle school at the end of the bus ride may have no private indoor bathroom in which an adolescent girl can attend to her sanitary needs.
The young wife posed for this portrait with former classmate Ghada, also a child bride, outside their mountain home in Hajjah. M, who clandestinely hid the ceremony from the watchful eye of the police, as in India girls may not legally marry before age 18. In the picture it's dusk, six hours before the marriage ceremony, and her face is turned toward the camera, her eyes wide and untroubled, with the beginnings of a smile.
Those, when they happen to surface publicly, make for clear and outrage-inducing news fodder from great distances away.
And schooling costs money, which a practical family is surely guarding most carefully for sons, with their more readily measurable worth. This calls for careful negotiation by multiple elders, it is believed, not by young people following transient impulses of the heart. In the picture it’s dusk, six hours before the marriage ceremony, and her face is turned toward the camera, her eyes wide and untroubled, with the beginnings of a smile. M, was both proud and wary as he surveyed guests funneling up the rocky path toward the bright silks draped over poles for shade; he knew that if a nonbribable police officer found out what was under way, the wedding might be interrupted mid-ceremony, bringing criminal arrests and lingering shame to his family. Her mother had moved to her husband's village, as rural married Indian women are expected to do, and this husband, Rajani's father, was rumored to be a drinker and a bad farmer. That in itself was risky to disclose, as in India girls may not legally marry before age 18.
I remember my own rescue fantasies roiling that night—not solely for Rajani, whom I could have slung over my own shoulder and carried away alone, but also for the 13- and the 15-year-old sisters who were being transferred like requisitioned goods, one family to another, because a group of adult males had arranged their futures for them. 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 India, where by long-standing practice most new wives leave home to move in with their husbands' families, the Hindi term paraya dhan refers to daughters still living with their own parents. Her mother had moved to her husband’s village, as rural married Indian women are expected to do, and this husband, Rajani’s father, was rumored to be a drinker and a bad farmer. I remember my own rescue fantasies roiling that night—not solely for Rajani, whom I could have slung over my own shoulder and carried away alone, but also for the 13- and the 15-year-old sisters who were being transferred like requisitioned goods, one family to another, because a group of adult males had arranged their futures for them. In India, where by long-standing practice most new wives leave home to move in with their husbands’ families, the Hindi term paraya dhan refers to daughters still living with their own parents.
But the techniques used to encourage the overlooking of illegal weddings —neighborly conspiracy, appeals to family honor—are more easily managed when the betrothed girls have at least reached puberty. M, who loved Rajani most; you could see this in the way he had arranged a groom for her from the respectable family into which her aunt Radha was also being married.
The littlest daughters tend to be added on discreetly, their names kept off the invitations, the unannounced second or third bride at their own weddings. This way she would not be lonely after her gauna, the Indian ceremony that marks the physical transfer of a bride from her childhood family to her husband's.
This way she would not be lonely after her gauna, the Indian ceremony that marks the physical transfer of a bride from her childhood family to her husband’s. When Indian girls are married as children, the gauna is supposed to take place after puberty, so Rajani would live for a few more years with her grandparents—and Mr. When Indian girls are married as children, the gauna is supposed to take place after puberty, so Rajani would live for a few more years with her grandparents—and Mr.
M had done well to protect this child in the meantime, the villagers said, by marking her publicly as married.



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