Having married a 13-year old Egyptian child in 2010 in contravention of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003 without any sanction Senator Yerima had the temerity to lobby the Senate not to delete section 29(4)(b) of the Constitution which has recognised child marriage.
Humaiya, a 16-year-old from Bangladesh, hasn't yet worn the traditional wedding rituals such as kohl-painted eyes or a gauzy gold and ruby veil. Her mother and her grandmother were both child brides, but the cycle has stopped with Humaiya.
Though her father wanted to marry her off at age 13, her mother and a group of advocates intervened
Article 19 of the family code adopted in 2004 prohibits marriage for anyone below 18 years of age, considered the age of adulthood, but judges have often waived the rule.
"We have noticed, particularly in rural areas, violations among girls who are just 13 years old," said Zoubida Bouayad, a socialist MP, adding that more than 10 percent of women marry before the stipulated age of 18.
A teenager from the central city of Meknes said she was married when she was just 13 years and half, with false papers. "After I was drugged and tortured for a year, my husband repudiated me," she said on condition of anonymity.
The reason why I find these stories so important is summed up in this quote:
"I don't care about what's best for the mom or dad or uncle," Al-Eryani explained later, "just what's best for the girl."
Abuse is perpetuated through generations by a belief that the family or society is more important than the individual child. Child marriage is one permutation of that, but it is not all that different from priests, politicians, or celebrities being protected because of their perceived value to society. Its the same underlying problem of sacrificing children for the sake of group harmony.
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