News from the Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA)
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10-Year-Old Girl exchanged in marriage in Balkh province, man slices wife’s neck in Herat province

Two heart-wrenching cases of violence against women in Afghanistan

By Sayed Arif Musavi

10-year-old girl exchanged for marriage in  Afghanistan
Shaima, a 10-year-old girl, who was exchanged for marriage in northern Balkh province. The common practice known as 'baad' sees girls being given in marriage to a family who has been wronged by the girl's family. Usually the girl is sentenced to a life of misery and suffering at the hands of her in-laws who takes their revenge from the girl. (Photo:

A 10-year-old girl from northern Balkh province has been forced to marry a boy whose sister eloped with the girl's uncle, a decision by tribal elders as part of an old tradition called "Baad" aimed at settling disputes between the parties in conflict.

Shaima, the victim of her uncle's elopement, who is a fourth grade school student, has refused the decision, requesting the elders to let her continue her education.

After spending five days in her husband's family in Sholgara district, Shaima was able to return back to her father's home in Mazar-e-Sharif, calling on the government for justice.

The little girl, who does not know a thing about the married life, has been refusing to go back to her husband's home, which may refuel the dispute between the two families.

"I want to grow up, go to school and marry when I am grown," Shaima said.

Her mother stated that her daughter has been the victim of enmity between the two families. She pleaded with the elders to let her daughter grow first, and then speak of her marriage.

Despite significant women gains over the past 13 years, a large number of women in Afghanistan are still the victims of forced marriages, domestic violence, Baad and other customs.

Strongly denouncing the decision made by the tribal elders, Balkh civil society activists and provincial council members called the decision unacceptable.

A husband who was a drug addict, sliced his wife's neck and left her to die in Afghanistan
A husband who was a drug addict, sliced his wife's neck and left her to die in western Herat province. (Photo:

"People of Balkh are concerned about these cases as it happened twice in a few days," said Yaseen, an activist. "The government and civil society groups must take strong actions in this regards."

The religious leaders also denounced this act of the tribal elders, calling on the prayer leaders and clergymen to speak out against forced and underage marriages, which are contrary to Islam.

This is the second case of forced marriages against females in less than two weeks after a man gave his 11-year-old daughter to a 25-year-old man for a bride price of 270,000 AFN.

By Jaweed Zeyaratjahi

In another case of violence against women in Herat, a man sliced his wife's neck leaving her to die, according to the police.

The incident took place Sunday in Kohsan district where the manhunt is underway to arrest the suspect, said spokesman of Herat Police Abdul Raouf Ahmadi.

According to the woman's relatives, her husband was a drug addict and had severely beaten her several times for unknown reasons.

The incident happened only few days after a man, who was also reported as a drug addict, mutilated his wife's genitals after she resisted him for wanting to sell their newborn son.

Category: Women, HR Violations - Views: 13488