Girls in Afghanistan forced out of school and into marriage

Girls in Afghanistan forced out of school and into marriage

  • Published on
    February 10, 2023
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  • Category:
    Forced Marriage
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In Afghanistan, girls are being forced out of school and into marriages to ease their families’ financial burdens. Under the Taliban, women and girls’ freedom has been severely curtailed. Though the Taliban banned forced marriage, this has not been enforced and the number of forced marriages has increased since girls have been banned from attending school.

Ban on girls’ education

Girls like Zeina have been fighting to retain their freedoms since the Taliban assumed power in 2021. But six weeks ago, the Taliban issued an indefinite order banning women and girls from receiving a university education. She shared with the Guardian: 

“When the schools were closed [by the Taliban], my father told me that he can’t bear the poverty any more,” she says. “He had to marry me off to someone. If the schools were not closed, this would not have happened. I wanted to finish my studies and be able to make something of my life for myself and my family, but all of these dreams have come to nothing.”

Poverty putting families in desperate situation

This is the crushing reality for many young women and girls in Afghanistan today. While the Taliban supreme leader has outlawed forced marriage, reports have increased. The education ban on girls threatens many impoverished families with no way out.

An anonymous prosecutor tells the Guardian:

“We are witnessing forced marriages in the provinces and Kabul. The very dire economic situation across the country causes more girls to get married off by their families,” she says. “During the previous government, when girls were attending schools and universities, the rate of forced marriages had decreased. Now they are rising again.”

Young girls, recently high school and university students, are being essentially sold off via their dowry to husbands. For many women in Afghanistan, this spells the destruction of dreams, security, autonomy, and a more hopeful life.

Take action against forced marriage!

Almost 100,000 in the Freedom United community are demanding an end to forced marriage everywhere. Add your voice today to power the call on governments to act.


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