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Forced marriages on increase

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    Forced marriages on increase 5:00AM Tuesday February 26, 2008 KABUL - Grinding poverty and the escalating war is driving an increasing number of Afghan
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 25, 2008
      Forced marriages on increase

      5:00AM Tuesday February 26, 2008

      KABUL - Grinding poverty and the escalating war is driving an increasing number of Afghan families to sell their daughters into forced marriages, a study says.

      Girls as young as 6 are being married into a life of slavery and rape, often by multiple members of their new relatives. Banned from seeing their own parents or siblings, they are also prohibited from going to school. With little recognition of the illegality of the situation or any effective recourse, many of the victims are driven to self-immolation - burning themselves to death.

      Six years after the US and Britain "freed" Afghan women from the oppressive Taleban regime, a new report claims that life is just as bad for most, and worse in some cases.

      The statistics in the report by the Afghan Women Resource Centre, make shocking reading. Violent attacks against females, are at epidemic proportions. More than 60 per cent of marriages are forced. One in nine women dies in childbirth. And 30 years of conflict have left more than one million widows with no enforceable rights.

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      Campaigners say these are nationwide figures but in war-torn provinces, such as Helmand, the British area of responsibility, oppression is often worse.

      - Independent

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