How do you read something like this..

July 10, 2007

and not want to take your proverbial hammer and smash the patriarchy with it?


JALALABAD, Afghanistan – Unable to scrounge together the $165 he needed to repay a loan to buy sheep, Nazir Ahmad made good on his debt by selling his 16-year-old daughter to marry the lender’s son.

“He gave me nine sheep,” Ahmad said, describing his family’s woes since taking the loan. “Because of nine sheep, I gave away my daughter.”

Seated beside him in the cramped compound, his daughter Malia’s eyes filled with tears. She used a black scarf to wipe them away.

How do you sleep knowing that somewhere out there, a father is trading his daughter away — her life only worth a grand total of 9 sheep. 9 sheep!

Despite advances in women’s rights and at least one tribe’s move to outlaw the practice, girls are traded like currency in Afghanistan and forced marriages are common. Antiquated tribal laws authorize the practice known as “bad” in the Afghan language Dari — and girls are used to settle disputes ranging from debts to murder..

They insisted that women given away for such marriages — including those to settle blood feuds — were treated well in their new families. But the elders declined requests to meet any of the women or their families.

Nobody treats them badly,” Malik Niaz said confidently, stroking his long white beard. “Everyone respects women.

Oh, because I feel so relieved now that I know everybody respects women, nevermind the fact that these teenage girls have no agency of their own. These girls see their lives sold into strange and hostile households as payment for the debts of their family.

How do you read this and equate this to a person in the first-world who takes up a student bond that will tie him or her to an employer for a certain period of time?

How do you read this and still think that there isn’t a need for feminism anymore?

How will you sleep at night? I need answers, because stories like this just make me want to crawl in bed and cry.


One comment

  1. […] hat tip: ProcrastinatioNation  […]

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