Tag Archives: child marraige

Child Marriage a Problem in the US too

Child marriage is one of the most harmful traditional practices for girls, undermining their chances for education and health, illustrated in a short video “Too Young to Wed”[i] and opposed by the global coalition of hundreds of organizations called “Girls Not Brides.” Globally, a girl marries before she is 15 every seven seconds, according to Save the Children. Many don’t realized it’s a problem in the US, especially in certain states like Idado and Kentucky, often used to prevent legal action about rape of a minor or in religious fundamentalist families.[ii] When a Girl Scout in New Hampshire heard that a 13-year-old girl was allowed to marry in her state, she found a legislator to sponsor a bill to raise the age of marriage from 13 to 18. Republican legislators made fun of Cassandra Levesque’s “Girl Scout project” and killed the bill.

A group of world leaders called The Elders founded an organization in 2011 to lobby for girls’ rights.[iii]

[i] http://bit.ly/1QVetXD

[ii] Nicholas Krisof, “11 Years Old, a Mom, and Pushed to Marry Her Rapist in Florida,” New York Times, May 26, 2017.https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/26/opinion/sunday/it-was-forced-on-me-child-marriage-in-the-us.html?emc=edit_th_20170528&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=68143430

[iii] http://www.girlsnotbrides.org

Teen Campaigns Against Child Marriage in Pakistan

Hadqai Bashir, age 14, campaigns in Pakistan’s Swat Valley (the home of Malala youssefi) to stop child marriage although it’s the norm. One of her classmates was married when she was in sixth grade and Hadqai saw how she suffered. She said, “ It’s a patriarchal society so I try to spread awareness, especially to parents.”[i] She goes after school to talk with girls and families in their neighborhoods with her parents’ approval. A BBC interview with her and a 16-year old named Shabana revealed her husband’s family beat her often, including her husband hitting her with a pipe. When she tried to go home, her parents returned her. But when her seven-year-old sister was to be married, Hadaqi talked them out of it. The mother said she won’t repeat the mistake she made with her older daughter.

[i] “The Girl Fighting to Stop Child Marriage in Pakistan,” BBC News, May 18, 2015.