Saturday, January 26, 2008

Children Bride

Roshan Qasem, 11, will join the household of Said Mohammed, 55; his first wife; their three sons; and their daughter, who is the same age as Roshan.

Ghulam Haider, 11, is to be married to Faiz Mohammed, 40. She had hoped to be a teacher but was forced to quit her classes when she became engaged.

New York Times article:

In many societies, the term "child bride" calls to mind impetuous sweethearts, a ladder cautiously positioned beneath a bedroom window, a silent kiss in the moonlight and a young couple making an anxious getaway to a justice of the peace. But this is not a ready image the world over. In Afghanistan, a child bride is very often just that: a child, even a preteen, her innocence betrothed to someone older, even much, much older.

Rather than a willing union between a man and woman, marriage is frequently a transaction among families, and the younger the bride, the higher the price she may fetch. Girls are valuable workers in a land where survival is scratched from the grudging soil of a half-acre parcel. In her parents' home, a girl can till fields, tend livestock and cook meals. In her husband's home, she is more useful yet. She can have sex and bear children.

Afghanistan is not alone in this predilection toward early wedlock. Globally, the number of child brides is hard to tabulate; they live mostly in places where births, deaths and the human milestones in between go unrecorded. But there are estimates. About 1 in 7 girls in the developing world (excluding China) gets married before her 15th birthday, according to analyses done by the Population Council, an international research group.

In the huge Indian states of Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh, the proportion is 36 percent; in Bangladesh, 37 percent; in northwest Nigeria, 48 percent; in the Amhara region of Ethiopia, 50 percent. Tens of millions of girls are having babies before their bodies are mature enough, increasing the likelihood of death from hemorrhaging, obstructed labor and other complications.

Stephanie Sinclair's striking photographs of child brides in Afghanistan remind me of my own travels over remote landscapes during the time of the Taliban, when recurring years of drought had parched the final resources from millions of the destitute. Fathers then were especially keen to convert their daughters into brides. It was a way to deliver the girl from hunger � and a way to at least temporarily ward off famine for the rest of the family. Young boys were sold into bondage with the same painful practicality. Rarely have I seen anything more heartbreaking than the tears of a relinquished child.

The drought has since passed, but the poverty remains, as does the widespread custom of early marriage. Some Afghans readily use their daughters to settle debts and assuage disputes. Polygamy is practiced. A man named Mohammed Fazal, 45, told Sinclair that village elders had urged him to take his second wife, 13-year-old Majabin, in lieu of money owed him by the girl's father. The two men had been gambling at cards while also ingesting opium and hashish.

But the practice of early marriage stems as much from entrenched culture as from financial need. Bridal virginity is a matter of honor. Afghan men want to marry virgins, and parents prefer to yield their daughters before misbehavior or abduction has brought the family shame and made any wedding impossible.

Unfortunately, there are no reliable data about the age of Afghans at marriage. Husbands are not ordinarily old enough to be their wives' fathers or grandfathers, but such February-September couples as those pictured here are hardly rare either. In such marriages, the man is likely to view the age difference as a fair bargain, his years of experience in exchange for her years of fecundity. At the same time, the girl's wishes are customarily disregarded. Her marriage will end her opportunities for schooling and independent work.

On the day she witnessed the engagement party of 11-year-old Ghulam Haider to 40-year-old Faiz Mohammed, Sinclair discreetly took the girl aside. "What are you feeling today?" the photographer asked. "Nothing," the bewildered girl answered. "I do not know this man. What am I supposed to feel?"

Fatima carries her three-month-old infant on her back. Still a child herself, Fatima was forced to marry when she was nine years old. Both Fatima and her mother are slaves in Niger (muslim country).

Girl, 4, marries man, 45, to settle Pakistani feud

February 9, 2007

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan -- A four-year-old girl was married to a 45-year-old man in a remote Pakistan town to settle a feud, leading to the arrest of 12 people from two families, police said Friday.

The minor, Sumaira, was given in marriage to the middle-aged man, Mahboob Ahmed, as a punishment because the girl's maternal uncle, Mohammad Farooq, had eloped with the adult niece of the bridegroom, police said.

The Punchayat imposed a fine of 150,000 rupees ($2,500) on Farooq and ordered him to give a young girl from his family to Mahboob, police spokesman Malik Ramazan said.

"In order to meet demand of the Punchayat, Farooq's brother-in-law gave his four-year-old daughter in the marriage of Mahboob," Ramazan said.

The government of President Pervez Musharraf has moved recently to legislate tough measures to end oppressive customs (customs ??? Muhamad aja kawin sama anak kecil, masa pengikutnya nggak boleh ???), especially forced marriages and giving minor girls to resolve disputes in the rural areas. 1/.html

Singapura akan menaikkan batas usia minimum utk nikah Muslim

Singapura : setelah diadakan studi diantara masyarakat Islam disana, pemerintah mempertimbangkan utk menaikkan batas usia nikah.

Ini demi menanggulangi problema perkawinan dgn anak2 dibawah umur yg kemungkinan dua kali lebih besar berakhir dlm kegagalan, dibandingkan dgn perkawinan normal.

Saat ini, dibawah the Administration of Muslim Law Act (AMLA), batas usia minimum adalah 16 tahun bagi pasangan Muslim.

Ini lebih rendah dari usia minimum 18 tahun yg ditetapkan dlm Piagam Wanita yg BERLAKU BAGI NON-MUSLIM (lagi2 NONMuslim yg lebih tahu bgm menyukseskan perkawinan! Wink ).

Jumlah perkawinan anak2 Muslim turun sebanyak 25 % setelah adanya upaya utk mencegah angka perceraian dlm masy Muslim.
Antara 2004 - 2006, jumlah pengantin wanita dibawah umur berkurang dari 564 - 422, sementara pengantin pria turun dari 159 - 118.

A BRIDE-to-be peers shyly through her veil � at the age of just THREE.

Little Sunam is among the 16 per cent of Afghan children married before they reach 15.

Her dad Parvez promised Sunam to her seven-year-old cousin Nieem. It was a gift to the lad's mum, Parvez's sister, who wanted a daughter.

The children, from Kabul, will probably marry when they are 14 or 15. Their aunt Najiba says the match is "unbreakable" and they will not be able to divorce under tribe traditions.

The minimum legal age of marriage in Afghanistan is 16 for girls and 18 for boys.

But many wed earlier, as a bride can fetch twice the average yearly salary for her family.

Human rights groups are calling for the practice to end. Manizha Naderi, of Women for Afghan Women, said: "It's barbaric."

Volume 7, Book 62, Number 88:

Narrated 'Ursa:

The Prophet wrote the (marriage contract) with 'Aisha while she was six years old and consummated his marriage with her while she was nine years old and she remained with him for nine years (i.e. till his death).

Berbagi info dan diskusi terbuka tanpa batas di
The Enlightenment Community

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