Sunday, September 16, 2012

Child Marriage

Just a quick post for today, since it is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

Here's a link to an AP story on child marriage in Niger, reprinted in the Washington Post. Even in times of prosperity, Niger has a high rate of child marriage. This article details the pressure drought places on families to marry their daughters off even earlier, using the dowries to feed the remaining family members.
It reminded me of an article from the U.K. Daily Mail about a mass wedding of girls in an area of Gujarat, India where many families rely on prostitution by young daughters to support the family. The wedding was intended to rescue the girls from becoming prostitutes.
Two children below India's legal age of marital consent participate in the engagement ceremony

It's easy to condemn societies for marrying off young girls, but much harder to weigh the dangers of early marriage and childbearing against a life of prostitution. Should a family starve to death, or sacrifice a daughter? How can there be moral clarity when every outcome treats a young girl's body as a form of sexual currency?
Today's $5 is for's campaign against child marriage.

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