In view of International Day on Nonviolence –– Violence Against Women #VAW, we advocate for the end of child marriage. Child marriage is not an unusual practice in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria, it is an age-old custom.
At age 10, Farzana was engaged to a 50-year-old man, who paid a bride price of $9,000 to her cash-strapped father –– a not uncommon fate for girls in Afghanistan. “I was crying very hard and telling my parents that I don’t want to go through with this,” recalls Farzana. With the help of her mother and the Child Protection Action Network –– a UNICEF-supported grassroots network –– three months of dialogue resulted in a returned dowry and a cancelled wedding. Farzana, now 12, is back in school.