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The threat of famine pushes Afghan families to sell girls as young as 20 days old into marriage

Posted: 26 Nov 2021 12:40 GMT

The food crisis that hangs over the country has aggravated the situation of Afghan minors, many of whom are sold by their parents in order to provide food for their families.

Afghanistan currently faces a serious humanitarian crisis which affects, above all, women and girls, who face great difficulties in accessing food, medical care and financial resources, the UN has warned.

The precarious situation that Afghans have found themselves in for a long time worsened significantly with the return to power of the Taliban in mid-August this year, depriving them of access to higher-paying jobs and hitting households with great force. where women are the breadwinners of the family, according to data from the Human Right Watch organization.

Michelle Bachelet warns that the Taliban's treatment of women will be "a fundamental red line"

This difficult context has led to a threat of famine in the country that leads to more atrocities towards older girls, with numerous parents who are seen pushed to sell their daughters in order to provide food for their families. In recent weeks there have been several cases of sale of minors destined to become wives even before reaching puberty.

Child marriages are common in Afghanistan and have serious repercussions on girls, affecting their health and very often making them victims of physical and sexual abuse, reports a study.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reports on sales of girls as young as 20 days old for a dowry. According to the agency’s estimates, 28% of Afghan women between the ages of 15 and 49 were married under the age of 18. Even before the Taliban regained power in the country, Unicef ​​partners reported on 183 child marriages during the years 2018 and 2019 only in two Afghan provinces.

These forced marriages keep girls trapped in poverty, since they prevent them from having no possibility of training or obtaining a paid job, becoming victims of the so-called “contemporary slavery”. This problem was compounded when the Taliban seized control of Kabul and the new authorities banned girls from accessing secondary education.

António Guterres insists on the need to maintain a dialogue with the Taliban to avoid the death of millions of AfghansAntónio Guterres insists on the need to maintain a dialogue with the Taliban to avoid the death of millions of Afghans

In this context of extreme poverty, which has worsened as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, almost 9 million people in the country are on the verge of starvation.

Currently, some 18.8 million Afghans struggle to get food every day and this figure could rise to 23 million by the end of the year, according to forecasts by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The gravity of the situation has pushed governments and international organizations to face the problem and schedule the dispatch of humanitarian aid despite the sanctions imposed against the Taliban.

Recently, Germany and the Netherlands announced their willingness to provide assistance to the Asian country, whose de facto authorities pledged to guarantee safe and full access for humanitarian personnel to the population in need of aid.

* The Taliban movement, designated as a “terrorist organization” by the UN Security Council, is declared a terrorist group and prohibited in Russia.

About the author

Donna Miller

Donna is one of the oldest contributors of Gruntstuff and she has a unique perspective with regards to Science which makes her write news from the Science field. She aims to empower the readers with the delivery of apt factual analysis of various news pieces from Science. Donna has 3.5 years of experience in news-based content creation, and she is now an expert at it. She loves journalism, and that is the reason, she moved from a web content writer to a News writer, and she is loving it. She is a fun-loving woman who has very good connections with every team member. She makes the working environment cheerful which improves the team’s work productivity.

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