Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Child Brides...

I am usually quite careful when I choose to post a political video - especially when the author is an American journalist talking about gender issues in Muslim countries.

And even though, I am aware that a lot of propaganda has been spun against the Talibans - the Afghan resistance, for obvious reasons, I still feel that this is an important video to watch.

I don't agree that the Talibans themselves are the root cause of this phenomena, as the video seems to imply, however I do not completely absolve them nor do I absolve the misogynistic culture, from which they and others - other men, regardless of their religion and/or nationality, have sprung from.

I am also very aware that the same happens in Hindu India, in Christian or animist Africa, and in Buddhist Asia, where a whole tourist industry is based on the willful prostitution of girls as young as 11/12 by their own families, catering for Western male tourists (which in my opinion is even worse than child brides) yet we don't get to hear much about those...

And it happens too, in your own cities, but in your case, it is not called giving away in marriage, it is called incest because a male member of the family is usually involved. Of course, I am not even broaching teen age pregnancies in the West either, nor 13-15 years old girls already on the pill.

Having said that, I am hoping that this video will be my starting ground for a series of posts on related issues, pertaining to the same problematic. "Problematic" is a polite understatement. But let's keep it at that for the time being.

And trust me, if I tell you, I have quite a bit to say on these matters. So brace yourselves, in particular the male readers and to a lesser extent the female readers too, for neither gender will be spared.

Economist Magazine videos: Stephanie Sinclair, a photographer, spent time from 2003 onwards with child brides in Afghanistan. Girls as young as 8 are married off to settle debts and disputes or sold to raise money. 14th August, 2009.