Her only words were “I am afraid of this man.”
Child marriage is a horrifying issue that affects million of children across the world. More often than not, the victims are young girls who are forcibly married to older men in a vicious cycle that keeps them out of school and stops them from pursuing their dreams as they become teen moms many times over. This is a crime that truly affects the most voiceless in our society, and the reasons people find for upholding or supporting the antiquated practice grow more disturbing as time goes on.
Though child marriage still happens in the United States today, it is far more common in other countries across Africa and Asia. Here, lower levels of education, poorer standards of living, dangerous gender norms, and the strong influence of religion often permit the practice to continue unnoticed or undisputed, regardless of its legal status.
A recent case between a middle-aged Muslim cleric and a six-year-old girl is making headlines this week, and the only thing more disgusting than the marriage itself is the excuse he gave for legitimizing it.
How could anybody think this is okay?