The international day against violence against women it is also a day of reflection on women who suffer abuse and rape in the world. Which are killed, sold, traded as goods. They live far from us therefore they are “invisible”. We can’t touch them, we can’t talk to each other and yet they exist.
Today, November 25, it is right to remind them too, forget because their nation is not, at the moment, the center of attention. Because there are other more urgent situations. Meanwhile they continue to live and die.
Like the women, the girls, the little girls of Afghanistan under the “grip” of the Taliban.
In that distant land, closed between the mountains, lives the greatest humanitarian crisis of the world.
According to the data of theFood and Agriculture Organization, more than 18 million Afghans are unable to feed themselves every day. This number is set to rise to nearly 23 million. Because of hunger, women and children are becoming the bargaining chip for food. And a research conducted by Unicef, the United Nations Agency for Children points the finger at the phenomenon of child brides, which is on the increase. Among the worst cases that come from the local news is the sale of a 6-year-old girl and an 18-month-old boy, given away respectively for $3,350 and $2,800. In another report, a 9-year-old girl was bought for about $2,200 in the form of sheep, land and cash. As the United Nations also warns, “the Taliban bans that prevent women from carrying out most paid jobs have hit precisely the families where women were the pillars. Even in areas where women can still work – such as education and health care – they may not be able to meet Taliban requirements and are forced to do so.”
As early as November 2021, Unicef reported that child marriages are on the rise in Afghanistan. Although the law prohibits marrying minors under the age of 15 (and still below the internationally recommended standard of 18), they are widely practiced by families. According to the organization’s analyses, early marriage has devastating consequences on a girl’s health due to physical and sexual abuse and is equivalent to a form of modern slavery. Arranged marriages trap women in a cycle of poverty.
Uncertainty coupled with rising poverty has driven many girls into the marriage market.
Without access to contraception or reproductive health services, nearly 10 per cent of Afghan girls aged 15 to 19 give birth each year, according to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).
Many are too young to be able to consent to sex and face complications during childbirth due to their undeveloped bodies. Pregnancy-related mortality rates for girls aged 15 to 19 are more than double the rate for women aged 20 to 24.
Stories of ordinary violence
There Cnn and the BBC they made reports. A kind of journey to hell, in the poorest provinces and he recounted tales of fathers who buy tranquilizers to “put their children to sleep” to prevent them from asking for food. Hunger is satisfied with benzodiazepines.
And hunger and poverty are “dominated” by selling one’s own girls in exchange, as we have said, for sheep, land and cash.
One of the stories collected is that of Parwana Malik, a 9 year old girl. The man who wants to buy her, with a thick white beard, says he is 55 years old, but for Parwana he is just “an old man” who will beat her and force her to work in her house.
THE his parents they say they have no choice, as for years they lived in poverty in a displaced persons camp in the northwestern province of Badghis, only thanks to humanitarian aid and menial jobs that allowed them to earn a few dollars a day
Taliban leaders of Badghis, in one of the “usual” verbal proclamations, they say they will distribute food to prevent families from selling their daughters. “Once this plan is implemented, if they continue to sell their children, we will put them in prison,” he said Mawlawai Jalaludina spokesman for the Taliban’s justice department, hoping that this time words could be quickly followed by deeds.“It is absolutely catastrophic,” he said Heather Barr, associate director of Human Rights Watch’s women’s rights division. “As long as a girl goes to school, her family is involved in her future. As soon as a girl loses her education, she suddenly becomes much more likely to get married. And so the violence against women increases.
Tortured to death, for revenge.
A horrible end for Hameya. It was the same husband who had married her six months earlier who killed her. A tragedy within a tragedy. Reporting the story is the Daily Mail. Hameya had been married off in the name of the traditional badal, the exchange of daughters between two families for the purpose of marriage. The “badal”, explains the British newspaper, allows both families to reduce the cost of marriage by avoiding paying a dowry.After the tragic epilogue of the wedding of the other girl exchanged with Hameya and killed by her husband, Hameya’s husband would then have started to torture her for revenge, ending up killing her.