Banned from education, Afghan girls are being married off

Thirteen-year-old Zainab should have been shopping for a new school uniform this autumn but, with no prospect of girls’ schools reopening in Afghanistan, she was instead forced to pick out a wedding dress, reports AFP.

Since the Taliban seized power in Kabul and banned teenage girls from education, many have been married off – often to much older men of their father’s choice. “I cried a lot and kept telling my father that the Taliban would reopen girls’ schools,” Zainab said. “But he said that’s not going to happen, and it’s better that I get married rather than sit idle at home.”

Her wedding date was fixed within hours of the would-be groom arriving with an offer of a few sheep, goats and four sacks of rice as a bride price – a centuries-old custom for many in rural Afghanistan. As is traditional, Zainab moved in with her new in-laws and husband – who is 17 years older than her. “Nobody asked for my opinion,” she said.
Full report on the EWN site