CHILD MARRIAGES AND WOMEN'S RIGHTS IN AFGHANISTAN
Among the most pressing concerns and issues in Afghanistan are child marriage and women’s rights. Women in Afghanistan are among the most vulnerable and marginalized individuals and continue to suffer from discrimination and lack access to basic rights. Their conditions are far from ideal, however, her determination and courage, as well as the continuous efforts of civil societies, have made her more than just a nameless, faceless, mute victim of unfair traditions. Her spirits are high now. But there is a lot more to be done.
In this blog, we will discuss the current situation in Afghanistan and the need for urgent action to protect women’s and girls’ rights, particularly regarding child marriages.
CHILD MARRIAGE IN AFGHANISTAN
Despite the progress in recent years, the issue of child marriage and women’s rights in Afghanistan has long been controversial and a significant barrier to progress. It is a subject that has been sensitively discussed by many international organizations, including the United Nationsand the Afghanistan government.
Many civil societies have advocated for tangible actions to improve women’s and girls’ rights in Afghanistan and protect them from the devastating effects of child marriage. But are we anywhere near the goal? The answer is NO.
It is no secret that war and ongoing conflicts have exacerbated the situation by causing instabilityand a lack of resources. These factors in turn have contributed their fair share to traditional customs and practices in promoting child marriage. The lack of proper education and awareness further worsened the situation.
According to the latest reports, it is high time that we acknowledge the detrimental effects of wartime violence on Afghanistan women and girls and prioritize prevention.
Take a look at the statistics here:
According to UNICEF, approximately 40% of Afghanistan girls are married before the age of 18. According to the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, over 75% of girls in Afghanistan are married before the age of 18, and over 25% of girls are married before the age 15.
While the Afghanistan government has taken steps to combat child marriage, such as setting a legal minimum marriage age of 16 for girls and 18 for boys, the prevalence of this practice remains high.
It is also important to note that a weak judicial system and poor governance aggravated the problem, as perpetrators of child marriages and gender-based violence are rarely held accountable.
Fortunately, with several organizations and activists working to combat these issues and promotewomen’s rights, progress, though gradual, is bound to be achieved in the future.