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Poverty forces Afghans to marry off underage girls in exchange for weapons, livestock

Poverty forces Afghans to marry off underage girls in exchange for weapons, livestock

New Delhi: Amid reports of Afghanistan heading towards "universal poverty" following the Taliban's swift takeover of the country, poverty, unemployment and severe economic problems in Ghur province of Afghanistan have led to child marriages, in exchange for money, weapons or livestock, Raha Press reported.

As per reports, a number of families are letting their underage girls marry middle-aged men. If the buyer does not have cash, he will give the girl's family weapons or livestock in return.

Some shocking stories have come to light where families have sold their one-year-old daughters for money, livestock and weapons, the report said.

The buying and selling rate of an underage girl is usually between 100,000 and 250,000 Afghanis in the province.

According to the report, such incidents occur more in the remote districts of the province than in the national capital.

News of families trading their underage daughters for material gain comes at a sensitive time for the Taliban's government which is trying to gain international recognition.

Buying and selling of girls or child marriage in exchange for money were common before, but after the fall of the Afghanistan government and the ensuing economic turmoil, more families are forced to take this route.

As per a report by Associated Press, the poverty rate in Afghanistan is hovering at 72%. But without crucial humanitarian and financial aid, Afghanistan will sink deeply into poverty by the middle of next year.

Habiba Jamshidi, a women's rights activist in the west of the country, said women form half of the society's population and they should not be treated inhumanely or in a non-Islamic manner.

Jamshidi said the families that are ignorant about girls and women's statutes, abuse them.

Jamshidi emphasised that one of the reasons of child marriage is the lack of proper awareness of the role and position of women, the report said.

Taliban officials in Ghor province refused to comment on the issue.

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