You know, in this world, on average, 39,000 girls a day are forced to marry before they reach adulthood. For the average girl, it should be a joy to enter into marriage , but for these underage girls who are forced to marry, marriage will be the beginning of the tragedy of life. A little girl with no mature mind, how to accept the invasion of sex, but also endure the pain of production ? Child marriage issues, is a need you I care about, help solve the vicious circle. (Recommended reading: " I am eight years old, I have a child" the Sad Song of child marriage Little Bride )

Last Saturday, in Kabul, Afghanistan, a girl named Zahra died of 90% of burns in her body. She was only 14 years old and had four months of pregnancy.

At the age of 11, she and two other students were selected from 70 of the circus Zahra to become part of an educational circus and go to Kabul to perform his newfound juggling. A girl who is forbidden to study in a conservative family still tries to do what she likes and wants to learn.

But Zahra's happy learning days didn't last long. When Zahra's mother was paralyzed and the father decided to marry again, she was sent out as part of her marriage dowry. The legal age of marriage in Afghanistan is 16 years old, but when Zahra was about 13 years old, she was arranged for marriage and was logically married.

According to Zahra's father, Zahra's death was the result of her husband's family abusing her for a long time: Zahra refused to work in the poppy field because she was pregnant, but her husband's family resented her refusal to work and beat Zahra, stabbed her with a knife and poured petrol on Zahra after the series of atrocities. , lit and burned to death to cover up all crimes. With the help of activists, Zahra's family set up a protest tent near the hospital where she died, demanding a fair deal.

An Afghan policeman guards the mortuary where the remains of Zahra are kept. ( photo source )

Under international law, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), governments have pledged and affirmed the legal protection of persons over the age of 18 to have adult capacity. and child protection expert Muianga the case of teenage pregnancies: "These girls are forced to engage in sexual intercourse at an age of about 8~12岁, have not grown into mature bodies, are a great danger to them, and the death rate increases during childbirth." "Because these girls have immature bones and sexual organs, how can they withstand male genital invasion and physical upheaval caused by pregnancy?"

All these indicate that Zahra and underage pregnancies, in addition to violating the law, will cause great harm to the mental and physical spirit of Zahra, and that the local values of "women as a property" in Afghanistan, and because they violate human rights and morals, often cause lambasting around the world.

But before we get angry, we can slow down and think about it: forcing children to marry and have children and treat them as possessions in exchange, really just because they don't value human rights? (Recommended reading:"Sexual violence is not a female issue, but a human rights issue" "vagina monologue" the only one of the feminist activists Eve speech excerpts )

I'm not happy anymore, where is love and respect?

Girls not brides , a non-governmental organization, statistics that 30% of brides around the world are under 18 years of age, and 15 million girls enter marriage every year after they have not finished their bodies. And around the world, the incidence of child marriages is higher: South Asia accounts for 46% of the global population, with 37% in sub-Saharan Africa and 29% in Latin America and the Caribbean.

World Children's Marriage distribution map ( source )

According to Maslow's most famous "theory of Demand Hierarchy" (Maslow's hierarchy of needs), a person's demand for society can be divided into five levels: physical needs, security needs, love and subordination needs, respect for demand, and self achievement needs. Physiological requirement is the most basic requirement, and so on, the requirement of self achievement is the highest level.

The region that accounts for the high proportion of child marriages in the world: South Asia, South Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, are countries with relatively underdeveloped economic development. In contrast, what we can think about is that when people in these areas do not have the means to meet their basic physical needs and security needs, do they not value love or respect as much as other advanced countries?

Take Zahra's encounter, when her father decided to marry again, must pay each other dowry, Zahra was as a part of dowry was sent out. Because Zahra is in a relatively scarce and difficult environment, and at the same time is a relatively inferior culture of women. For her father, it was a "barter" in the father's marriage, exchanging the father's new wife with Zahra. Because Zahra's family may have no other material to make a dowry, it is cruel to say that in the culture of Afghanistan, real money is worth more than a girl. So when Zahra's father did not have the extra money as a dowry, Zahra became the first choice to be sacrificed.

But at the same time, when child marriages do cause irreparable harm to these children; When women are exchanged as property and have indeed affected their physical and mental health, as spectators, we cannot, because of academic theory, say, "People do not have the need for love and respect when they have not yet met their physical and security needs." "And the hurt of all this turned a blind eye. (Recommended reading: after survival, victims of sexual violence need more tenderness in the world )

Source: Too Young to Wed

Every assistance is the power of change.

You, who care about these children as much as I do, may ask me, "is it impossible to solve this problem without any way to help them?" 」

When it came to the big structure, it had to do with the uneven distribution of resources throughout the world, including material, education and so on. Where is this big problem to be changed? What can we bystanders do to keep them away from the environment that might harm them, and not to let more tragedies like Zahra be staged? It is very frustrating that we, the general people, do not have the resources and the capacity to improve the vicious circle of the whole structure.

In areas with a high proportion of child marriages, girls here are barely educated. A patriarchal culture would give priority to the right to education for boys, and girls who wanted to be educated, and because of poverty, had no extra funds to get their education elsewhere, coupled with cultural constraints, the girls had to accept the future arranged by their elders for child marriage. These girls may never have a chance to flip their lives in a lifetime, only to weep in such a vicious circle. (Recommended reading: I am Malala, the girl who was shot for education )

Or, child marriage is the only way parents in these areas think they can protect their daughter. "My daughter is 16 years old, she loves school, she is a gifted student in her class, and I know she dreams of becoming an architect," she said in a 2014 visit to the refugee women in Syria. But here men have no scruples about hurting women--older women, single women, everyone. She said she didn't want to get married and she wanted to learn. But the only way I can protect her is to get her married and go to a better family. "( sic )

We have seen the importance of education for these children through a child marriage incident. Although far away, but we can do is: continue to pay attention to the children under the tragedy of child marriage, to share such a topic to the people around, a more caring, is a strength. By donating money, you can support organizations like World Vision , free theChildren , andgirls Not brides efforts to help these children improve their environment, Continue to help children who lack medical resources, prevent child marriages and provide education for school-age girls so that they know they are not the only ones who accept parental and cultural dominance. Perhaps we are not providing enough resources to fully improve their days, but when the more bystanders are willing to take the first step to assist them--perhaps donations, sharing information, participating in related activities, from knowing to doing--each other's care will become the power of these children to flip their lives.