Afghanistan, Women
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Marriage of 6-year-old girl in exchange for goat shocks Afghans

A video of a crying 6-year-old Afghan girl is being widely shared on social media in Afghanistan. Her name is Gharibgol, and she was sold into marriage to Seyed Abdolkarim, a 55-year-old mullah from her village.

According to Afghan law, women can be married from age 16 and men from age 18. According to our Observers, it is not rare for underage girls to get married in Afghanistan, but such a huge age gap is unusual. On social media, many Afghans expressed shock at this union, as well as by the fact that the child was sold in exchange of a goat and some food.

“The girl’s father said that he was having trouble making ends meet”

Our Observer Fawad Ahmady, a journalist in Herat, filmed the videos below and published them on Facebook as well as in local media.

“About 40 days ago Gharibgol was forced to marry the mullah of Obeh, the village where she lives with her family. She was sold to him by her father in exchange for a goat, a bag of rice, tea, sugar, and a few litres of cooking oil.

After their marriage, her husband took her to Firozkoh, in Ghor province, to stay at a distant relative’s house. This host first thought that Gharibgol was the mullah’s daughter. But then the host realized that he was undressing her at night. [Editor’s Note: According to tests later carried out by Ghor hospital, there was no sexual intercourse.] So he asked the mullah: she’s not your daughter? The mullah replied: no, she’s my wife; her father gave her to me. The host told a friend, who called the local women rights bureau for Ghor province. The bureau called the police, and called me, as well.

The next day, on July 31, police arrested the mullah, and then went to arrest Gharibgol’s father in his village. But before they took him away, local women attacked him and beat him up – I filmed the scene.”

In this video, the father is dragged away from his daughter (whose face was blurred by France 24) and beaten by local women.

Initially published on France24 on 08/04/2016
Read the full story here.

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