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Sunday, September 16

Tom Coghlan reports on the torture of an Afghan girl sold as bride at the age of 4. Article published in the Independent (Apr 15, 2006)


You may watch this CNN video on a child bride here


The suffering of Gulsoma's first 12 years is not immediately apparent in the little girl with an open face, who is doted on at Kabul's Women's Affairs Ministry. But in repose her features cloud and she clasps her arms around herself, while the overlapping scars on her body offer a crude account of abuse.



92 comments:

Jane Maroon said...

Very hard to believe. If the law in India prohibits it, why don't they go to jail?

NYC Teaching Fellow said...

hey! thanks for stopping by my blog. i find this one very interesting and inspiring. i would love to talk about building and sharing ideas. i really want to get my students to think globally, i thought blogging would be a great way to do that! i'll be in touch with you, no doubt.. have a great week..

Sho said...

At the age of seven how do you even truly understand that anyone you are living with is not your parent, let alone going to be your husband? I suppose it's all cultural-but the whole marrying at such young ages blows my mind.

The law in Afghanistan states that a woman can be married at 16, and a man at 18. But even this causes issues-not only in the mental aging of the daughter being forced to marry a 40+ year old man, but with reproduction. It's the cause of the majority of Afghanistan's 'maternal mortalities'. According to http://irinnews.org about 57% of marriages involve girls younger than 16 and sometimes as young as 9.

In the video it is very clear that the girl is scared. The fact alone that her husband continues to walk in and check up on what they're saying gives her reason-because assumedly if she were to say something wrong, it could cause her harm. It truly shows the oppression women face in places like Afghanistan-they have no rights. She even said herself, at the age of 7 she really had no grasp on what her future could be and it was already taken away from her. It's a cultural pattern, women being oppressed by men and society. In every video i've ever watched the women hide away, and fear almost every word they speak.

The situation can be improved. It's happened before in other countries, even America, and it can happen for them. Honestly, they're just men-human beings. They bleed like women do, so they can be treated just the same. You just need a big enough group of people to overthrow it. It takes time-yes, because every time a woman wants to go to school, be educated she's threatened with marriage and loses her future all together. There's a lot we in the states can do as well, the word just needs to spread. Women's rights are becoming more and more apparent in the middle east. They're calling for separation of religion and state, and attempting to start groups to fight this. Essentially things are getting better, but not fast enough-hundreds of women still die annually because of mistreatment, honor killings, and giving birth too young.

Athena-Liana Smith said...

I just read an article about Kurdish girls showing up in local hospitals and dying of suspicious burns.
You may read it at

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20839736/site/newsweek/

kenny said...

As you can tell in the video, the girl is obviously terrified of what she can say and what she cannot, she almost seems to go around the answers to the questions she is asked, this is because of her "husband" trying to "check-up" on her but actually hes worried what she might say about the abuse, neglect or anything else he has conflicted on her.
I believe a major part of why these women are scared to speak up is because of the fear the men put into them, such as physical and mental abuse. We cannot simply just show up and tell these people that what they are doing is wrong. Just because of the fall of the taliban, it dosent change anything. This has been in their culture for hunderds of years. If we want to change help this culture we have to educate the women themselves and therefore they could spreak on behalf of themselves and doing so would help their culture understand stand better.

kenny said...

i agree on what "sho" is saying about how it is taking way too long to stop these ,honor kilings, women abuse and young girls dying of early pregnacy. Our government needs to help speed this process up somehow, maybe by showing these video more on the media. Have you noticed how we hardly ever see this subject in the media! By getting the word out to millions of people i believe this "slow" process will pick up speed

Crimsonzero said...

"i agree on what "sho" is saying about how it is taking way too long to stop these ,honor kilings, women abuse and young girls dying of early pregnacy. Our government needs to help speed this process up somehow, maybe by showing these video more on the media. Have you noticed how we hardly ever see this subject in the media! By getting the word out to millions of people i believe this "slow" process will pick up speed"

I do agree that these things rarely show on the media. It actually kind of ticks me off that instead of showing what's happening and people trying to do more about it, they rather ignore it and send some story about celebrities on the tv.

I noticed that when we watched the video today, a lot of women and even some men in the country dont agree with what's going on in the middle east, such as the honour killings and so on. Women get killed for being raped by other men, as if it's THEIR own fault. Life is very precious but unfortunately in the middle east it doesnt seem to be worth very much. In their culture honour is everything. In our culture, "honour" is something that's not taken that seriously at all and that is something that is forgotten really quick, and also that we view that everyone makes mistakes and that it's not the women's fault for these things that happen. When it all comes down to it, most of the men that live in the middle-east want absolute power over women. Even if someone in that country wanted to do something about it, it's really the king's law over there that's taking effect over everyone and no-one is allowed to talk badly about the king or else they'll be punished.

Jeneice said...

it sadens me to see someone abused like that. I strongly disagree with the beliefs of marrying at such a young age, at the age of four you cant take care of yourseld let alone be a wife and preform wifely duties. It really makes me said to know that this is going on in the world. That girl has suffered her whole life ,and will never get ofer the abuse. something needs to change.

Crimsonzero said...

"At the age of seven how do you even truly understand that anyone you are living with is not your parent, let alone going to be your husband? I suppose it's all cultural-but the whole marrying at such young ages blows my mind."

"The law in Afghanistan states that a woman can be married at 16, and a man at 18. But even this causes issues-not only in the mental aging of the daughter being forced to marry a 40+ year old man, but with reproduction. It's the cause of the majority of Afghanistan's 'maternal mortalities'. According to http://irinnews.org about 57% of marriages involve girls younger than 16 and sometimes as young as 9."

That is pretty shocking information to read. At the age of seven, one barely even understands what's going on around her and yet her freedom is already taken away. This is why that as a start, women need to start being more educated about their rights so that less of these things do happen. These things are still hard to avoid though, because this is something that's been going on for hundreds of years and still being practiced today. Culture and customs cant easily be broken, but by educating women more it's a start.

HoneySweet G. said...

This is just sick. Why wouldn't children be left alone to be children? Is that so hard for society to do. Don't get me wrong, I'm all for tradition and things of that sort, but even the less fortunate should have a chance at being innocent.

HoneySweet G. said...

Letting children have their innocence is how the whole situation can be improved.

I think that the media will very much help the situation of this problem. The saying goes "Education is the key to knowledge." If we can educate the people, children wouldn't have to face this abrupt change in their world. I know that their society deems it okay, but it's not. (Personally, i think it's the most disgusting thing any human being could do to a child.)

mattsarnowski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mattsarnowski said...

It's good that this media exposure is out there for people to voice an opinion, but what is it that we are doing to help prevent this behavior from happening? We're fighting a war for oil, but I never hear any type of comments being made about situations like this. Basically, we fight and kill these people for their natural resources, but do nothing to really help the people.

Sho said...

"That is pretty shocking information to read. At the age of seven, one barely even understands what's going on around her and yet her freedom is already taken away. This is why that as a start, women need to start being more educated about their rights so that less of these things do happen. These things are still hard to avoid though, because this is something that's been going on for hundreds of years and still being practiced today. Culture and customs cant easily be broken, but by educating women more it's a start."

I absoloutely agree. Breaking tradition is one of the hardest things to do-I mean try telling a proud American that they can't bar-b-cue [sp?] on the fourth of July, or set off fireworks. Yes, significantly less severe, but can anyone see that going off very well to the proud American? No. Tradition is what keeps culture alive, and to break it is like trying to forget basic math tables, or the ABC's. But education is a very good start, there just needs to be more of it. These men are controlling the women/girls with fear-so I'm sure that if we were to look up the numbers on how many women would be willing to speak out against this problem it would be slim to none at best.

Angelica D. said...

This sitaution is so disturbing, but unfortunatley, it appears to be somewhat normal in their culture. Men treat females so terrible, and feel they have no worth what so ever. Selling your child as a bride, the abuse & torture, getting raped and being treated as the criminal, the "honour" killings - I cannot even begin to comprehend how all of this became part of a culture. Even if these girls are educated with the knowledge that they have choices or rights, and are threatened into being sold as a bride, or worse, Can they realistically get away or get help? Their government is as corrupt as their cultural beliefs- Sorry - Just my opinion. Or do they have to go into hiding or some sort of shelter for further fear of their own lives? After seeing tragedies like this, I am even more thankful to be an American - I know there is alot of abuse in our own backyard, but nothing like this.

I agree with Crimsonzero - we need more media coverage to bring this situation to light - I mean television is a cesspool for information about celebrities - I personally do not find is useful to know who in Hollywood is in rehab, getting married or divorced, or what size shoe they wear. This is probably another blog- but our own media/culture somehow glorifies and justifies celebrity behavior and these celebrities think they are above it all - They should make themselves useful and become part of this solution.

Angelica D. said...

I do not think that this pattern has anything to do with the fall of the Taliban, it is cultural.

JeanK23 said...

I agree with Kenny. We cannot simply show up and tell these people what they are doing wrong. It may be inhumane to us, but it is their culture. This seems to happen because women are expendable. They have no rights and their sole purpose is to serve the man and have children. They are taught to be subservient as toddlers. I feel the only solution would be to have women who have escaped this culture and torture be given the chance to receive an education and be allowed to teach both men and women that their culture is cruel and barbaric. Their government is so corupt the only hope for this situation would be proper education.

MeXIII said...

It’s sad the way women in those countries are treated. being sold as a bride at the age of 4 just doesn't make any kind of sense. as the parent of the child how could you just get rid of a child. as the person purchasing the 4 year old bride what can really be expected of the child, besides fail at the high demands. and the most disturbing part about all of this is that it has been culturally accepted for many many moons and will probably never change.

mattsarnowski said...

Angelica D. said...
I do not think that this pattern has anything to do with the fall of the Taliban, it is cultural.

I agree, but the problem is how can they evolve into a more civilized and harmonious community. If they're lucky, we'll do for them what we did for Japan after destroying their country in WWII, rebuild. ---mabye that will somewhat and somehow inspire a new way of life.

Athena-Liana Smith said...

.Let's start with a clear definition of modernization: It refers to a rationalization of means to given ends in the areas of economy, society and polity. However it has by no means followed the same path of evolution around the globe.

In western Europe it emerged out of feudal states with strong urban centers, in eastern Europe from more autocratic states and less urbanized societies. In the US colonization and immigartion set the foundations while a strong religious orientations boosted the work ethic menatlity.

In Latin America modernization emerged out of oligarchic societies with intense inequality. In Japan it emerged out of a centralized feudal state.

So despite these different backgrounds, what are the common characteristics of present-day modernization?
They are a democratic system (even if it is illiberal), independent judiciary, free press, industrialization, urbanization, a shift from agricultural activities to manufacturing and services, secularism, high level of literacy and free markets.

Many say that traditions hold back a society. Yes and no. Yes, when the tradition is marrying a 7 year-old and honor killing, and no when the tradition is about industriousness and strong ethics. Matt mentioned the case of Japan. Japan was occupied by the Americans after the war and during the occupation little material aid was given. Instead General Douglas McArthur supervised the new constitution which helped tremendously with modernization for it provided civil rights, compulsory 9 year education, free labor unions, independent judiciary, redistribution of land, abolition of nobility and most importantly the Emperor was stripped of his political powers.

The constitutional changes helped tremendously with the industrial take-off. But so did the Japanese work ethic and group spirit. Both are cultural patterns

Athena-Liana Smith said...

You also mentioned corruption. Corruption is indeed unprecedented. Think of Pakistan when it was governed by Benazir Bhutto. In a 1998 article the NYT reported: " A decade after she led this impoverished nation from military rule to democracy, Benazir Bhutto is at the heart of a widening corruption inquiry that Pakistani investigators say has traced more than $100 million to foreign bank accounts and properties controlled by Bhutto's family."

Athena-Liana Smith said...

And since you also mentioned honor killings I am afraid the situation has not changed in Jordan despite the lip service. I was reading this article which concludes with those words:
"The government has urged judges to consider honor killings equal to other homicides, punishable with up to 15 years in prison.
But attempts to introduce harsher sentences for honor killings have been blocked in Jordan's parliament, where the predominantly conservative Bedouin lawmakers argue that lesser penalties would lead to tolerating to promiscuity."

bdraper said...

1)Even though the Taliban has fallen I believe these problems still persist because it has been a way of life for so long. These families that marry their children away have followed these rules and guidelines because their own parents forced them to do the same. It seems like some people are happy with the change of the Taliban and others are disappointed that it has fallen. For the people that are disappointed I think that they continue these patterns in rebellion to the new changes.


5)When it comes to whether or not TV exposure is helpful or not to the children I believe it is a little bit of both. When word slowly begins to spread across the world about the torture to children and women by the Afghanistan men some realize they need to take action. The rescue shelters that are now in Afghanistan may now have more support to get the women and children out of harms way. Also, people in the surrounding countries that hear about these terrible things through TV may begin to take action to help change the laws and push for a more positive rebuiltment of the country and government. On the other hand, TV may also be harmful. Even though many families in Afghanistan are poor and may not have access to TV they may have radio and news can spread quickly that many children are not actually missing they are in hiding with specific shelters. These men that are looking for their wifes and daughters-in-law may be able to track them down and legally take back "their property". TV can also put the children at risk because some men may find it in their place to murder these girls, if they see them and recognize their face (from TV), because they know that girl has disgraced her families honor and must be killed. To me I believe that Media exposure can both benifit and harm the women and children, it just depends on who gets ahold of the information being casted.

bdraper said...

In the response to what Mexiii said:
I believe that with our culture it would be hard to sell a child into marriage, especially at the age of four. But in the culture where the article is taking place the mother of the four year old girl wanted to start her new life. She MUST respect all of her new husbands wishes. Along with the fact the the girl was worth some money that benifited the new husband. When this young girl was sold into the new family she was only expected to become their slave. They expect her to be perfect but will always jump on the oppurtunity to punish her when she fails. Even though these are the cultural norms, things seem to slowly changing because the young girl is in school now and away from the family. Her future does not look bright but she may be able to escape that entire country and pick up somewhere completely new. As for me, I believe that there is hope to change this situation. Many of the women and children in Afghanistan hold on to their hope and faith that one day the world will change and they will become free of the negative torture.

JeanK23 said...

It's so hard to believe that in this day and age there are still parts of the world where people live in such a barbaric way. Hard to believe that one person would put a child through such pain and suffering. Maybe it is a tradition, maybe it is the way they were raised. But don't they remember the pain they went through when it was them in those shoes as they grew up? Wouldn't those memories drive somebody to break such a savage and inhuman behavior? At what point do we stop to blame tradition or the way somebody is raised with a massive psychological issue? These are the first questions that come to my mind when I read this. However I can't help but feel a lot better by knowing the strength this little girl had to escape her captor. And the knowledge that he got a good beating to remind him of the pain they put her through. But at the same time it saddens me to know that she will still live in constant fear of being found by this man and the fact that the change of her bettering herself in a professional way are so slim.

Natalie said...

If a child can be married at age 7 and be sold as a slave then what value does a child have in this part of the world? If it is so illegal then how come it got this far with this little girl. Thank God she escaped when she could. I find it remarkable how she was a slave most her life then was given a chance to get education. If she was only useful as a slave once then said to be very bright child when in school. Its not right to put such a strong limitation towards children and woman. Even if it is part of thier culture.

diana25 said...

I can barely believe that such a horrible incident like that is happening in the world now. I thought mankind new right from wrong. I think the people who do that to an inicent little girl should be punished a lot longer than one year thats rediculous. That man should be beat over and over like he beat that little girl. The gov should not allow them to force a 4 yr old into marriage

Angelica D. said...

Going back to what mattsarnowski said -

how can they evolve into a more civilized and harmonious community...If they're lucky, we'll do for them what we did for Japan after destroying their country in WWII, rebuild.

I completely agree 1000% - but unfortunately, I believe that misfortunes like this are far off the radar of this country's agenda-
Bush/The Gov't sent our troops over to fight a war, letting us believe that it was some sort of "justice" or retaliation resulting from 9/11, and terrorists/leaders who were plotting against us - because afterall, we are The United States of America and no one can or will get away with attacking us on our own soil - but of course we all know the truth. The war is about one thing - OIL.

Our country always seems to get involved in other nation's affairs, it's a shame that something like this would not be of concern - Maybe it is - I don't know - I know we can't save the world - And do not want to makes waves with other countries at this point, but we are a very powerful country - There has got to be something we could do....

Only some sort of intervention can save these girls - This is cultural - the norm in their society - The girls know it's not right and probably feel so hopeless & desperate because it is accepted. The offenders most likely see nothing wrong or perverse with what there doing either...And they justify their behavior by taking the Quran WAY out of context to suit what their needs and what they perceive to be good for them.

Athena-Liana Smith said...

It has been estimated that 18% of the girls in Asia, 16% in Africa and 8% in Latin America are married before they become 14. Child marriage is prominent in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Srilanka and Pakistan. In Nepal the number is 40%.

In the 1980s 7% of girls were married before they were 10.

In the region Maithili of Nepal 23% of the girls marry before they become 9.

Natalie said...

Media exposure is not helpful to these children because they are not speaking the absolute truth in these interviews. I wonder how they even get the chance to sit down and talk to these individuals without penalty. That goes for the child and the reporter. I am sure that the child knows what to say and what not to say. But she is putting her life on the line just so we can get just a glimspe of her tragic life. It is so sad to see children with this abuse but is it really worth the risk of thier life? What if they said to much? I think they would be punished. It wont stop the abuse for these children just make outsiders more aware of what's really going on in Afganistan.

Athena-Liana Smith said...

Since Angelica mentioned Iraq, you should watch this short video that explains very well the history of the region and the geopolitical problems that arise from that history.

Sierrablue said...

According to the Population Council web page http://www.popcouncil.org/ta/mar.html research also indicates that approximately one out of seven girls in the developing world (excluding China) marry before their fifteenth birthday.

Forced by family and culture into lives of servility and isolation, which really amounts to slavery under the farce of marriage is a practice that has been going on for generations in some countries. It is part of their culture. Men rule. Women are not much more than beasts of burden, so this is how they are valued. They are bartered off for something the father or family wants. This could be respect, or to pay a debt, or maybe make it easier on the rest of the family by having one less person to feed and care for. I find this practice horrendous. Women and young girls are not cattle to be bought and sold.
These young brides are often beaten and tortured by their husband, who sometimes are much older, and also by their in-laws. They live in fear. You can see that in the face of the young girl in the video. Even thought she was given permission to speak you can tell she is very guarded in what she says. These women and children do not speak out against their abuse. They are afraid of the consequences or even worse they do not realize they can speak out. They are keep like prisoners in their husbands home with out the benefit of any education so to them this way of life is the norm. This is all they know, they live in ignorance. Because this is embedded so deep in these countries traditions and values it will be a slow process to change this immoral custom. However, it is one that has to be eliminated no matter how long it takes.

Sierrablue said...

I totally with what Sho as well as others said about the young ages of these brides. These children barely know how to be a child let alone how to become a wife and take on those duties and responsibilities. In one handshake, or what ever else is used to seal the deal, their childhood is murdered and they enter a nightmare that they never wakeup from. This need to be brought to an end. Beside being immoral, in some of the countries it is against the law. Why isn’t something done and the law enforced ? Probably because it involves the rights of women and children, most men in these countries feel women and children have none. They are property of fathers an husbands.

mmedina10 said...

That is sad how women in the Middle East women are treated. Here in the US we complain abiout how our parents influencing the people we should be around, yet in others countries they dont even have the luxury to say no i dont want to marry him like we do. We dont have to marry anyone if we dont want to.

mmedina10 said...

I believe that religion can encourage child marriage along with abuse. Especially in the muslim religion. Reason being is that that are raised in such a maner that they always have to obey their parents and they better not answer back. So when their parents decide to marry them off at a young age they have to choice but go with the flow.

mmedina10 said...

I believe that the pattern of child abuse has persisted because women is viewed that way because of the religion. Even though the leadership in the country has fallen the believers have not, and they are stubborn people when the believe something there is no one to change their mind back. So thats why child abuse will continue because each generation is taught the same thing

Sierrablue said...

After giving this some thought I also think that the best way to stop this cycle of abuse is education. The women of these countries have to learn they do have rights. THEY need to understand THEY do have value and are NOT just a possession that their husband or father can do with as he pleases. Once the older women understand this then it will be harder for the men to buy and sell their daughters. The older women will then show their daughters they have value and they too, have rights. Instead of a cycle of abuse it could become a cycle of strength. However, this would take a while to evolve because the women of these countries live in such fear and oppression. Nevertheless, with the help of the media keeping this subject in the world’s attention, plus the women becoming educated and pulling together to unite against this atrocity, it can be done.

Sierrablue said...

Watching the video on Iraq a few of my questions I had about the different groups were answered. It also re-enforced my belief that America has gotten into something that is way bigger than us and, unfortunately I don’t see a way out anytime soon. What I do see is more years and money spent over there.

Athena-Liana Smith said...

Also it is very important to absolve Islam of all these hedious crimes. Today’s Muslims have forgotten the status of women given by Islam. It was Islam that first recognized equality of sexes and granted women rights 1400 years ago. However slowly a retrogressive interpretation of religious edicts started taking place that contributed to a culture heavily set on gender discrimination. Thus we have the women of many Mid Eastern countries today being considered subhuman and burdens even before they are born. After birth we have subordination and multiple forms of domestic violence including murder, mutilation, burning faces by acid. In “honor killings” the woman remains dishonored even after death and thus her body is either disposed of in a river or buried in a dump. As for the burnings a hospital official interviewed in the BBC documentary 'Murder in Purdah' said he sees 7-8 cases a week while only 10% of them survive.

Athena-Liana Smith said...

And a positive note. Last year’s Nobel peace prize went to to Bangladesh's Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank who created the bank that promoted micro-credit in India or in other words it started l;ending to the poor Bangladeshi women on a sustainable basis. The Nobel citation says: "Lasting peace cannot be achieved unless large population groups find ways to break out of poverty. Micro credit is one such means.''
The bank recovers 96% of its loans and recycles them. The loans are given without collateral but the interest rate is 20%. The bank has operated for over 25 years and now has 1000 branches.. It has lent over $5.1 billion to 5.3 million people. The bank is run on Yunus' conviction that poor people can be reliable and innovative. He turned the rules of economics upside down. The bank even sponsored a project called Struggling Members Program that serves 55,000 beggars. The site of the bank is http://www.grameen-info.org/

The idea has spread through the developing world. In India for example Chetna Gala Sinha founded a cooperative bank ran by women and for women and whose missionj is to empower women in poverty-stricken areas so that they achieve financial independence and self-sufficiency. It offers weekly loans to its customers, most of whom are poor while it also lends people money to buy daily food. It serves 48,000 customers, its assets are worth $9 million and it recovers 97.5% of its loans. It has created close to 17,000 women entrepreneurs in the region around Mhaswad in the Indian state of Maharashtra. where the annual income is less than $500.

Sierrablue said...

mmedina10 said...
I believe that religion can encourage child marriage along with abuse

There are definitely religious connotations in some of these practices. According to an article about the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints or FLDS http://www.religioustolerance.org/lds_poly1.htm child brides are forced in to marriage right here in America and also in Canada. The cities of Colorado City, Arizona, Hildale, Utah and Bountiful, Canada all have large numbers of their populations who not only marry child brides but also practice polygamy. Although women are valued a little higher in these communities than in some of the Middle eastern or African countries. It is only because they are breed stock. However, they are still not much more than slaves. In these FLDS groups a women has many children and it is always hoped she has a girl. Girls are wanted to be future brides. If there becomes a surplus of boys, some boys may be sent away. They would be in competition for the wives. One man in the group had 20 wives and 60 children. These women were taught at a young age that this is what the Lord wants. If they are punished and abused it is the Lords way of correcting them and keeping them on the right path. They can not disobey the Lord. I find it very disturbing that in this day and time this sort of abuse continues to take place. How can we expect these other countries to do away with age old traditions while we have groups that still practice them here.

Monica Rivera Agard said...

I believe that the media exposure is helpful in the long run to this child. In the long run other people will understand the cultural patterns of this world and maybe inlist to help,. This could bring more eucation which is what is needed to break this cycle. Education about the law and and the Koran to understand this is not what God ( their God ) intended at all. Education for the women, the young girls to understand this is not the only choice for them, that there are other options available for their survial. In the near future the media exposure is detrimental to the young girl, it is already present in the video the husband and his family would not even allow the interview to go smoothly with the constant interuptions in the room.

The cultural pattern I see is gender dicrimination. This is the major pattern. This happens to these women because they are not viewed as equals. They are not view as equal I beleive because of fear. Fear of loss of power. The men want to control their home and if women were not beaten they would not be scared and unstand that they have rights as well and the tables would be turned.

I agree with Sho we need to help, and optionns need to be givin. Our government needs to help, but be carful at the same time. Yes, with a big enough group one can overthrow a government, but, they have to be willing. For this education is needed. Education is needed to show the women and men that this is not the answer. That other cultures were doing this and have changed or that other societies do not accept this. This will give the push needed for this group in their own society and culture the understanding needed to ovethrow their government. I do not think that our government coming over there and overthrowing them is an answer because then they will see us as a threat and join together against us. With educ ation we can help by showing them an idea without being a threat in turn becoming a friend and not a foe, which takes time.

NYC Teaching Fellow said...

damn

mattsarnowski said...

I think something like the patterns going on in the culture will still persist even after the fall of the Taliban(if you can really consider it fallen, or believe what you hear in the news) Something like this is a cultural tradition and would probably persist until technology or some other influence helps to promote a more civilized and uniform equality based society. Just like Lenski said,"The Leven of technology in a society affects its culture."

Athena-Liana Smith said...

Matt
You remembered Lenski!
:)))

Brooke said...

I think the reason it has persisted aster the Taliban fall is beacause its always been their way of life. Thats what they were taught to do and so far it has been allowed.

Crimsonzero said...

It's very sad that this country is wasting it's most important natural resource, women. Women are the nurtures in the family. It's the mother and wife who is the strongest source of nurturing, support, and encouragement. A country whom is robbed of this vital element in society is a very sad one in my opinion.

kenny said...

"A country whom is robbed of this vital element in society is a very sad one in my opinion."

i totally agree with Crimsonzero.
If you stop and think about it without women,such as our moms, sisters,wife and even our girlfriends, our society would be similar to middle east. Without their advice from our moms such as, brushing our teeth when we were little, too Mrs.Clinton gicing us advice on major problems in the U.S.

Untill they treat women as we treat ours there society will NEVER run as successful as it can be

dfrank2 said...

This blog really opened my eyes, I always hear about the unequal treatment of women in the Afghanistan area but the example of abuse is a bit new to me. To treat someone who is your "wife" with such ill-will makes no sense. I think they feel they can treat women this way not only beacuse of tradition, but because the women are married away. The women are more or less given to them like a mere possesion. Its unimaginable to be only four years old and married away.

chronos said...

There is really not much that we can do as a society. This is going to be an issue for many years. The only way it will change is by educating the newer generations that this behavior is not acceptable in this modern day world. Every person in this world should be treated equally no matter what their gender or race may be. I'm not saying that the world will be some perfect place where we all get along, it will just be a little better off. I believe everything in this world needs some balance in order for there not to be chaos.

chronos said...

HoneySweet G. I cannot agree with you more this kind of news is very disturbing. Being that I was raised in America where everyone has the right to be free it is agonizing to hear that this sort of thing is common place in some countries. We can only hope that some of them can be rescued and given a better chance at life.

chronos said...

The reason that this pattern still continues is because of the way these people have been raised in their culture. It is that same reason that racism still exists here in America. Older generation are passing down these ways of thinking or culture to the younger generations by showing them how they act and what they believe in. In some ways its hard to blame these men because they don't understand that what they are doing is wrong. They are just following the way that they were brought up by. They don't know of any other way. These teachings need to be broken so that this kind of abuse of young women will stop. Maybe the media might prove useful in showing some of the newer generations that these traditions are morally incorrect.

dfrank2 said...

The fact that this women who surived a near death situation, can't get remarried, and probably wont get employed is amazing. She has a chance to get her education, but her absuive father-in-law still "owns" her and is looking for her. How could a person retun to somewhere where a man encourages his children to throw rocks at her, she's beat, and humiliated on a daily basis?

dfrank2 said...

Education is a good way to try to stop the abuse thats happing in afghanistan. But is it reasonable to think that these men who have such a vice-grip on their power would let some speeches and books change things? I think the Afghanistan Women's Affair's Ministry is a great start, and i think a more proactive step would be laws that prosecute offenders. The penalities this men face are childs play, for "honor killings" an offender is looking at as little as six months. If they were made to pay for their crimes change would come alot sooner.

Natalie said...

I agree with SieraBLue. there is more and more money spent in Afganistan. But in due time I hope things will become more peaceful because of the many soldiers and innocent civilians dying each day. It is sad too see these things but everyday counts and if we did all we could than we need to back off but are we really doing the best we can do to heip these people live a better life?

EP said...

As long as the punishment is lax for abuse and honor killings they will continue to happen. The fact that Juma Gul spent less than a year in prison disguts me, the punishment should refelct the intensity of the crime.

anthony kolodziej said...

I believe that media exposure can be more helpful than detrimental to these third world countries. I say this because the media can be used as a main source to "cry out" for help from other countries. Set aside from the war being caused from the September 11 attacks on United States soil, the other main reason we are fighting is for world peace in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. With the constant media feedback we receive on terrorism being taught at such a young age prolongs our stay in Iraq/Afghan countries to establish new government leadership.

EP said...

I think with enough media attention the situation will improve. When people learn about the terrible situations these women are facing the laws will start changing and becoming more srtict. Education is necessary for the change to be permanent, educate the females that this abuse is not ok and educate the males about punishments and the reasons why abuse is wrong.

EP said...

On what "natalie" said I agree that the media attention isn't making a difference or really helping the abused because the women can't speak freely in the interview. We can't stop the media attention because if it isn't acknowledged then it will continue to get worse, our best bet is to continue with the media coverage and figure out something else to do that will really make a differnce.

anthony kolodziej said...

I totally agree with deonte on how education and Women Ministries are a strong start for Afghan countries to prevent abuse. It's unreal to think how they are brought up compared to the United States way of life consisting of freedom. Also like Deonte mentioned on how laws used as a way of prosecution would be stepping stones towards a better way of life. A more solid based government opposed to one leader could result in a complete turn around for their countries.

anthony kolodziej said...

I believe that patterns on abuse have continued even after the fall of the Taliban because that has been their main way of upbringing for the longest time. For centuries since child birth, they have been taught to kill and have been showed how family honour is their way of life. The U.S intentions with the war in Iraq are to solidify a government ran country and establish laws as a way of prosecuting.

Kung fu Hustla said...

To improve the situation, I think the government should enforce laws that prohibits physical abuse and killing of females. Also i think another way of improving is for the government to have more outpost in the country. With that it would reduce the abuse and killing of females.

Kung fu Hustla said...

The patterns of abuse in the west isnt similar as it is in the middle east. Abuse in the west its more common of beatening with a hand or a blunt instrument, its nothing like the abuse of pooring boiling water on someone or using them as a table top. And in all cases women in the west occur less because the values are different. If a man and a women are in a conflict, it will be more along the lines of a verbal dispute. Though there will be times where it will escalate into physical abuse.

Danatrose said...

This is very hard to belive i guess it's just my thinking as being an american but this is horrible and if its against the law how are these men able to get away with this type behavior?

Danatrose said...

I think that in this culture things are totally wacked. How can someone be married of at the age of 3? 4? Without any education or jobs this will continue to happen.

Neishia said...

This is ridiculous. I know its common over there but everyone can understand cruelty and this punishment was unnecessary. These were innocent children and it makes no sense to treat them worse than dogs. Its awful and husts me to my heart.

scarpenter said...

Sometimes we cannot fathom what takes place in other cultures. This would be one that for me is hard to believe. However, I know that it truly does take place. Even though America is over in Afghanistan and fighting for their rights as well and trying to destroy the Taliban, they are not completely out of power. The Taliban still has a stronghold over Afghanistan.

In America, we do have similar types of abuse, although for the most part,we have laws against them and the at fault parties are held accountable. Such things as beatings or child pornography. There are people that will take advantage of children. However, in part of the United States, Polygamy is legal and the men marry the girls very young. I don't know if the physical abuse takes place as what was described in the article about the child bride, but I would imagine that having kids at such a young age would take a hard toll on the girl's body.

I think media exposure is definately a good thing for the children. When people are aware of such atrocities, they want to go in and change laws and cultures to help protect the victimes. The only draw back would be for that specific child because the family would probably try to come after them and kill. But for the future of that society, media exposure is great. Look what is taking place now in Afghanistan. There are women traveling over there to help educate the girls and having safe havens for them to go.

Sierrablue said...

As I mentioned in an earlier post there are places here in the United States where children are forced into marriage. I think this arrest and conviction shows that at least steps are being taken try and put an end to this here in the US.

"The leader of a polygamous Mormon splinter group was convicted Tuesday of being an accomplice to rape for performing a wedding between a 19-year-old man and a 14-year-old girl."
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20974526/

Athena Smith said...

I read the article and to my surprise it states that polygamy has been tolerated in Utah for half a century.
Am I missing something here?

jeje 21 said...

WOW..It is really amazing how different cultures and the way a society can be. I mean i cant really believe how a father can really sell her Daughter to some one else. If they so much talk about their god and how to be in the perfect kingdom why dont they start treating women right. Everybody should be treated equaly, no matter what country you are from or what sex you are.

jeje 21 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jeje 21 said...

I totally agree with Sierrablue that girls and women should have more education or a program that explain their rights as women. This will help them realize the things thay can do to defend themselves against this barbaric act and actually do something to change their life and have a better future. The only we they can do that is by not being together as a national group and act as one for their cause of having their rights. "Easy to say but Hard to do in their country". It would take alot of scarifice, teamwork and the help of other nation that can support or help them in any way.

jeje 21 said...

The most damaging part is how the life of the child is goona be. Dramatized by the errors of parents and society, just like the cnn video. I mean the way you see the girl is like she empty deep inside with the hope that someday she will be recued from the darkness she in. Situation like this can sometime lead people to suicide as an escape of their problem.

deshawnte82 said...

you try not to judge other cultures, because you never want people to judge yours. but when you think of how people treat other humans, it's hard not to have an opinion. i think the only way it can be changed is if a man that can heavy influence from within, speak out against this practice.

deshawnte82 said...

i believe that as long as men are heading these cultures, they will continue to have women at their feet, since the ones higher up aren't really doing anything to put forth some kind of change. they almost welcome this treatment.

deshawnte82 said...

i have to disagree with kung fu hustla, the patterns of some abuse is getting increasingly horrible this week there was just a story on the news about a little boy found with a fractured skull and when he was found he was bound in a pool of his own blood and feces. there are cruel people everywhere! abuse is abuse!

chris martinez said...

what would be the purpose of Afghan girls to attend school if they have no rights and cant get a job

chris martinez said...

what would be the purpose for afghan girls to attend school if they have no right and cant get jobs

peachykeach said...

Child brides have persisted even after the fall of the Taliban because these people are in a sense "brainwashed". They are "brainwashed" by their religion and by the their family and peers. It's hard for a social group to change their ways because it's all they know. I'm sure that the mother in the article did not want to sell her child but she felt she had no choice.

peachykeach said...

The video depicts negative cultural patterns. The father in law was hardly punished for what he did to his daughter in law. The police sent her back when she tried to escape because she was causing shame to her family! In America the father in law would be the one causing the family shame. I am surprised that she had the courage to escape a second time. The child was forever changed by her beatings that she actually felt sorry for him when he was being beaten. Abuse there seems so common and expected that everyone seems to look the other way.

peachykeach said...

I agree with Sierra Blue. Children do not have the experience required to fulfill adult roles like marriage. The problem is that these people view their children as valuable resources and tools unlike American's who see their children as completing happiness.

Jondeflorence said...

Its a damn shame that we live in world where this is happening regularly, and yet when I attempt to bring it up in a conversation, 9 out of 10 people have NO idea what i'm talking about. As soon as I turn on the t.v., I am baraged by stories of how much this celebrity weighs, or who this celebrity has done, or how much time this celebrity has spent in prison, yet somehow these are more important topics than the marrying of 4 year old girls and their subsequent beatings because of their just being of the female sex. I personally blame the govt. but I always do.

bigbuddy said...

the government needs to inflict serious punishment on parents who allow these marriages to go on. these girls are being robbed of there childhood. its the worst kind of child abuse. send the parents to jail.

bigbuddy said...

the media should continue reporting on these cases. the government needs to take swift action. theres not a chance for these societies to flourish when all there doing is exploiting there own innocent children.

bigbuddy said...

i totally agree with kenny. people need to get more involved, including other governments. children should never be exploited.

Alexandra said...

Personally, i think marriage younger then the age of 24 is crazy. for me marriage is something i want to wait for. i want to be with "the one" and ill wait as long as i have to, to find him. being sold for marriage at that age is CRAZY!. it really blows my mind. the law in afghanistan is: a woman can be married at 16, and a man at 18. this causes issues, mentally and physically (reproduction). some marriages involve girls younger than 16 and sometimes as young as 9. i would never be able to sell my child or force them to get married. i think it is everyones person decision who they marry. marriage is about love and family. you cant force yourself to love anyone.

Alexandra said...

i also agree with kenny that their should be more involvement within the country and even within their people. fathers should put their foot down and not allow their daughters to be sold to marriage. they should take pride on what and who they bring into this world.

Alexandra said...

Sierra Blue and Peachykeach said it right. CHILDREN DO NOT HAVE THE EXPERIENCE REQUIRED TO FULFILL ADULT ROLES LIKE MARRIAGE. americans i think are more the opposite. YES most parents want their children to get married. but then again most parents are picky about their daughters future husband. they worry more if the guy is good enough, will treat her good, and above all, love her. its not about how much they can sell her for. its about HER!

Michael Rose said...

I have an outstanding respect for women, so it is hard for me to try to see the viewpoints of such cultures. Therefore, I am taking away that fact that Gulsoma is a young girl and just saying, “no matter were you live, treating a person like this (young or old, male or female) is unacceptable!

irishbabe said...

i think that the pattern still exists is in the fact that it is cultural. if there is to be any change the cukturak aspect will have to be taken out of it and then change can truley happen.

irishbabe said...

the situation can be improved by the society itself. the people can act on the violence and make it stop if they so choose. there should be at least be more woman being being activein the afgans womans affairs ministry.

irishbabe said...

i agree with jeniece when she says that 4 is way to early an age to be married. how do you expext yourself to be able to clean a kitchen when you so small, or even cook. something does need to change as jeniece said and it need to fast.