Real Women, Real Stories: Issue 5
Rachana Sunar, Oslo Freedom Forum
In each Stories Issue, we collect stories from women around the world. These stories are authentic, raw, and unapologetic. They are emotional. They are stories not often told. We hope their stories of strength will spark necessary conversations about child marriage and, most importantly, change these practices for the betterment of women everywhere.
Education in Afghanistan: Breaking Traditional Barriers
"Life is like a guitar. It can play happiness and sadness. You have to listen to both. When I see my situation --- my forced engagement, my school, my community -- I tolerate everything and say to myself that if a person can get an education they can go on to be successful in all aspects of life."
From Potential Child Bride to Community Leader
"[Forced marriage] means they lose their future. They stop education. They lose their hope for living. And many of them are exposed to rape and domestic violence. This is not a life. It has to change. Girls are girls. Not wives. And it can be changed."
The Sad Hidden Plight of Child Grooms
"Recently I spoke to a school friend who told me he was going to engineering college. The news left me feeling ashamed and pitiful. If our parents had not forced us to marry at such a young age, our lives would be so different. I would have liked to have gone to engineering school. If we were allowed to finish our educations, [my wife] and I would have learned about family planning. Maybe I would have gone to college. Forcing children to marry doesn’t just push them deeper into poverty and threaten their health. It crushes their ambitions—whether they are girls or boys."
Child Brides are a Very Real Problem in America Today
"One of the reasons my parents couldn’t force me into getting married was that I knew my religion. And in [Islam], it explicitly says that any marriage that is forced is null and void. And there have been cases in our tradition in which a girl has been married without her consent. And she went to the prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and asked him, ‘My parents forced me into marriage. Am I a married woman?’ And he said that marriage was not accepted."
At YLLO Beauty, it's our mission to help end child marriage so girls can be just that—girls. And your purchase helps. We donate 10% of our profits to Girls Not Brides member organizations across the globe.