It might be hard to believe that in this age and time there is still such a thing as forced child marriage. But there is. Gharibgol, a 6-year-old Afghan girl who should be dreaming about meeting her prince charming in the future was instead, not given, but sold into marriage by her father in exchange for a goat, rice, tea, sugar and few litres cooking oil.

According to the father, he and his family were desperate for food and by selling his daughter he had one less mouth to feed. He also insisted that the new husband of the girl had sworn not to have sex with her until she turned 18.

After the wedding, Abdolkarim, her 55 years old husband who is also the Mullah of Obeh, reportedly took her to a relative’s house in Firozkoh, in Ghor province, pretending she was his daughter. But the concerned relative raised the alarm, insisting Abdolkarim was ‘undressing the girl at night’. This led to him opening up saying, ‘No she’s my wife, her father gave her to me.’

Not convinced, the relative reported the matter to a friend, who promptly called the local women’s rights Bureau which led to the arrest of Adolkarim and Gharibgol ‘s father.

Responding to the situation, the bureau says it will pursue a divorce and ensure the father is stripped of his parental rights. However saying that the 6 year old and the mullah were only married religiously, which makes things more difficult – a judge cannot divorce them; another imam must do that. And divorce remains a big taboo in Afghanistan.

The girl is reportedly now living with her mother.

 

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