How do you feel about countries who marry their girls off at 7 and 8 yrs. old?

Young girls in Iraq - Very young Iraqi girls
United States
September 24, 2007 8:29am CST
Yesterday I watched a program on CNN about Iraq and they spent a lot of time talking about young girls being married of at very young ages for reasons like money and not wanting them to get an education. I realize this happens in other countries also but I couldn't believe what I was watching. A girl of 14 who said her father was a drug dealer and owed so much money that marrying her off would help pay his debts. When asked if she loved her husband of course she said yes because he was standing there during the interview and wasn't happy about the whole thing. This girl at the age of 11 tried killing herself by dousing her body with kerosene so she wouldn't have to endure the marriage and people talking about her drug dealing father. There were a lot of other stories but this girl stuck out in my mind all day and night. Can you imagine one of our 7 year old little girls getting married? Most aren't even ready when their 21 never mind! Can you imagine a little girl having to endure s*x at that age just to keep her husband happy? The whole thing makes me ill. I understsand that these are usually very poor countries and this has become a way for some families to survive but they also spoke about a girl who came from a family with money...why would they do such a thing? What are your thoughts on countries who marry off such young girls? Do you think there is any way in the world that this can be stopped?
6 people like this
21 responses
@vicki2876 (5640)
• Canada
24 Sep 07
I watched the same program as you and I was so shocked. My daughter has just turned 12 years old and she is still a kid! I couldn't imagine her having to do the things that these girls have to do. The one with the burns sticks in my head too. It is terrible they do this to them. I think it will stop eventually. I think creating awareness of what is going on and stuff will bring the problem into the open and with time it will change. But I do feel very lucky that my daughter and I are in Canada and never had to do that. I am 31 and STILL am not ready for marriage!
2 people like this
• Philippines
24 Sep 07
it is true that getting married is not something worth playing with. it is a lifetime commitment of bringing forth a family of the couple's own. how on earth would ever a child have any idea as to how a family springs forth! the guys who marry these children are pedophiles. no one in his right frame of mind would ever wish to marry a child that young. yes, i agree with you that to be ready for marriage really takes such a long, long time. i know that most people who got married to the wrong person have become so regretful for having gotten into it. good for you to have stayed single. how i wish i am on equal footing with you on this regard.
2 people like this
• United States
24 Sep 07
What really stinks is that divorce is not an option for those girls so they can't get out of it.
1 person likes this
@vicki2876 (5640)
• Canada
25 Sep 07
So true!
1 person likes this
@byfaithonly (10716)
• United States
25 Sep 07
I don't particularly agree with this custom but I don't believe there is anything that can be done about it - some countries have been doing this for centuries. I must however say a few years ago I met a young lady from Japan - her marriage was arranged by the two families when she was a child. She did meet her husband to be one time before they were married (her mother never meet her father until the day they married). I asked her what that was like and she said that was the way of her land and in time she grew to love her husband and is now very happy her parents did this - the couple live in the US now and follow both customs but have a very good marriage.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Sep 07
Yes, I know that in Japan arranged marriages happen often but I don't think any of the women have gone to extemes later to get out of it. It seems most of them do end up with a happy marriage. By the way...welcome back!
@sunshinecup (7882)
25 Sep 07
UUUGGGG! Sorry just had to get that out of my system. This is legal child molesting. The families and well as the husbands are complete low lives in my opinion. This has nothing to do with culture but mostly how females still to this day are seen as nothing more than a product to be bartered with. It makes me sick, it breaks my heart for these pour girls and it makes me angry beyond words. Sadly, I see nothing changing it any time soon. This is and has been expectable to these people for centuries. They care less what these females think or feel. How can you force a father to understand how wrong it is sell his child? You know? If the logic isn't there to begin with, I don't know what you can do. It's like trying to teach the blind to see.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Sep 07
I totally agree with you. I don't believe it's their culture but because they are in a poor country they take advantage and know they can get away with it.
@raychill (6571)
• United States
24 Sep 07
Personally I don't think people should even get married until they are 30. or 25 + at the latest. That's not to say there is anything wrong with people who got married at 20 or 23 or even 18 because if it worked out than thats great. My parents were married at 18/20 and they've been married almost 35 years. So sometimes it works. But yeah. so people definitely shouldn't be getting married at 7. however, it's a different culture than the culture that I am used to so who am I to judge?
1 person likes this
• United States
24 Sep 07
No, it's not our place to judge other cultures but when they do it for money or to keep a girl from getting an education I think that's different.
• Canada
23 Oct 07
This is disgusting and I wish we could stop it but I highly doubt that it will ever change in those countries. it maybe their way of surviving but I don't agree with it. whats wrong with getting a real job. grrrrrr it bugs me that people can sell their children and not care.
1 person likes this
@violeta_va (4842)
• Australia
20 Oct 07
I dont think its the same thing to compare when it is the right time to marry 18, 28, 58 the fact is 7 and 8 are still babies not women, so we cant say they are not ready because it is not a question if they are readdy or not because 7 year old even 12 year old is far from beeng a woman. it is sick and no mater what country or culture thinks that is ok it is not it is called child abuse.
1 person likes this
@soulcube (50)
• Canada
5 Oct 07
Personally, I think all this is VERY wrong and it should be stopped what makes me even sicker is the parents that make their own daughters at such a young age get married, that is just wrong!
1 person likes this
@twoey68 (13662)
• United States
26 Sep 07
I think thier nuts!! Girls that age should be skipping rope and playing with dolls. Their bodies and minds aren't even fully developed yet. **AT PEACE WITHIN** ~~STAND STRONG IN YOUR BELIEFS~~
1 person likes this
@violeta_va (4842)
• Australia
25 Sep 07
That simply discusting and I know it is still going on. I was a volunteer with this organization and we visited women that were restricted in their movement (sick, babies, kids, religion) so they could not go out and make friends. So one of the ladies was 24 at the time she had 8 kids and her oldest girl was married and still back home with her husband and australia does not recognise that as legal marrige as the girl was 11 years old her husband was 15-16. The lady was from a very rich family and all. She was married at 12.
1 person likes this
• India
25 Sep 07
No, there are no ways that these things can be stopped until and unless the people concerned themselves don’t realize that what they are doing is wrong. I don’t know about Africa, but this is a fairly common Asian phenomenon specially in countries with large muslim population. Women in most Asian countries are looked upon as properties, to be bartered to suit the convenience of the concerned families. This is all the more prevalent in poor nations where in general the status of the girl child is very poor. People here are very illiterate and alienated from the outside world and they conform to medieval beliefs on gender equations. This is just one incident you have come across and in India, irrespective of religion, we hear and come across many such instances daily. And as I said, there is nothing much that we can do. Some NGOs are working and the benefits can be seen in a democracy like India, but in nations where there is hardly any freedom, such social work fail to bring any major change. Education is the key factor here and men in these nations are loathe to educate their girls coz they know that then a day will come when they no longer will be the ‘superior’ gender and religion provides a great and handy excuse for such atrocities too! While in this context, there is one thing I must say though (no fighting pls). While we all know this state of women in Asia, the situation is not too bright in the west too. While girls here are forcibly married off at 12, girls in the liberated west take to pregnancy by ‘choice’ more or less at the same age. Teenage pregnancy is on the rise there and is one of the prime causes for social concerns. So you see, the conditions of girls are more or less same everywhere…its just the cursed body before and inspite of everything else.
1 person likes this
@ssf12ster (489)
• India
25 Sep 07
it cna be for money,it cna be for getting purity as the arabs say or it can be for doing ousehold work. so if it is good if anybody feels tat then i think he is only trying to imporve himself hee dear!poor siblings why shuld they be exploited no way they cna be stopped unless the law gives them a very hasrh sentence,and i dont think so.~!
1 person likes this
@subha12 (18463)
• India
25 Sep 07
It is really very unetical. I don't know how people can think that cruel way to their own daughters? In those countries the lives of girls are pathetic and men do whatever they want to with the girls irrespective of her age. I really feel sorry for them.
1 person likes this
@mimpi1911 (25455)
• India
25 Sep 07
In my country, child marriage was apparently banned in nineteenth century with the initiative of Vidyasagar and Raja ram Mohan Roy, the two renaissance men. But the consciousness and the scientific viability is yet to come among ppl. We still have remote rural areas where this has been going on against judiciary and more alarming, all in the name of God and superstitions!! I feel, this is a criminal offence and the main objective is to make ppl aware of the adverse effects, sociologically. But for that the level of corruption has to be put on check, which is a very difficult task. I, myself, am very shameful of this. Though a lot of work has been going on since long but it would take time to eradicate this scary, evil practice. Let’s keep our fingers crossed. Thank you for a responsible post.
1 person likes this
• United States
25 Sep 07
That sounds terrible. She should only marry if she loves the guy and is ready for a commitment. Being force to marry someone is not good. An arranged marriage usually doesn't work out in the end. But what you could you do about it?
1 person likes this
• Israel
24 Sep 07
i aslo agree marriage of underaged girls should be stoped, such youngs girls should be trained it is bad enough that they are that young and i believe it is important that such governments of countries, should get involved and also illitracy is a big part of the problem they need to be educated on the wrongs or disadvantage of what is being done.i come from africa i cannot say it is not praticed here but we try to educate people i know it is not easy though it is bad they should think of it as if they were the ones in these young girls shoes
1 person likes this
@DavidReedy (2411)
• United States
24 Sep 07
It may be stopped one day, but remember your idea and my idea of right and wrong come from our indoctrination, just as others' ideas of right and wrong come from their cultures indoctrination. We take almost the exact opposite in views in the U.S. and now divorce rate is 50% + (which has been determined to be the number one cause of childhood and adolescent depression, amongst many other problems), here, the gay lifestyle okay, and we're on a slippery slope with bankrupting welfare systems, the spread of HIV, and an outright lack of self-control or morals in this country. So see, who's really right on the matter? I don't believe pre-pubescent children should get married, ever--but some would still say that 12, 13,14, 15, 16 is all still to young. Remember, here in the United States those were prime marriage ages until the turn of the 20th century or so. And even if we are right, and someone else is wrong--what gives us the authority to forcefully change it? Look at the middleast now. Afghanistan is in shambles, Iraq is in shambles, and we're talking about invading Iran now. since 1989 we've killed over a million of the Arab people... and we're the "good guys"??? Just my thoughts on the matter... ultimately, what gives anyone true moral legitimacy?
1 person likes this
@worldwise1 (14890)
• United States
24 Sep 07
First of all, ctry, I would like to say that it is a horrible practice-in any society. You ask if there is anything the world can do to stop it. I seriously doubt it. If you were to go back centuries ago you would find that the taking of children in marriage has gone on practically forever, and not just in backwards countries. I did some research on this subject several years back, and I was stunned to find that it was common in places such as the UK centuries ago also. Much of this was a direct effect of intermarriage between family members in order to keep control of property and money. It is a hard pill to swallow that it is still being done in the 21st century, but we cannot change all of the other cultures in the world. We would be fighting a losing battle. We just have to hope that with more enlightenment the countries involved in such practices will abandon them and leave the Dark Ages behind.
• United States
24 Sep 07
Unfortunately, that is their custom and there isn't that much we can do.Especially when it is the countries with oil that have these customs. They have what we need. if they didn't have oil, I would think we could force the government to stop aid until it stopped but that won't happen.It is sad that girls are considered property still around the world.It is just wrong for us but their custom. And to them, women having their rights is wrong to them.Countries are very different.an arranged marriage for us is a form of slavery, but to others it is a tradition.What is really wrong is having minors marry.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
24 Sep 07
all the while i have been thinking that iraq is a rich country what with all its oil wells. this is really a heartbreaking information that you are introducing, ctrymuziklvr. seven year olds, even those who are fourteen year olds, are still innocent children. nobody that young would normally ever think of sleeping with a man and making love. no, this will never be acceptable to me. for me, even those young teenagers are still supposed to be flirting with guys who catch their fancy and never making love with any. i cannot think of any measure as of this moment as to how this practice can ever be fully stopped. this is all new information to me. how i wish parents who have such thwarted minds will not ever toy with the idea of having kids. for me, they have no right to have kids at all if they cannot love and care for any child at all.
@rosie_123 (6118)
24 Sep 07
Well I am a Western woman and the product of a democratic and secular society, - so like you, I am disgusted and horrified by such occurences. Young girls being forced to marry men (usually much older than them) who they have never met, with no rghts of their own. It is despicable. It even happens in England now - not at that young age of course - it is illegal - but British born girs of 16 are regularly shipped back off to their parents' country of origin, and married to some much older guy that has been arranged for them and that they have never met - often just to get that man a Visa into Britian. If the girls complain -(and many who have been educated here are beginning to), - we are now getting a spate of the disgustingly called "honour killings", where these poor girls are murdered by their own family members for "shaming the family name". But of course it is a cultural thing, - and one has to say - very much a Muslim thing - where woman are in general treated as second class citizens and mere chattals of their Fathers and then of their husbands. So unless you live in that kind of society, it is hard to see it from their point of view. To me - doing this is nothing more than paedophilia and rape, and should be punished as such, - but I would be interested to see what people from those cultires can say to defend it.