Monday, January 14, 2013
Pigs are Haram, paedophiles are Halal
Child marriages happen every day in the world. Most of them do not make the news. One of the few exceptions is a case recently reported by Al Hayat newspaper and other media outlets, of a ninety year old man who married a fifteen year old girl in Saudi Arabia. Apparently the bride escaped on her wedding night, and the groom is suing her family for ‘damages’.
So let’s talk about damages: Pregnancy is the leading cause of death worldwide for women ages 15 to 19: Girls younger than 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their 20s. Child brides face a higher risk of contracting HIV because they often marry an older man with more sexual experience.
They are also more likely to experience domestic violence, and often show signs of sexual abuse and post-traumatic stress such as feelings of hopelessness, helplessness and severe depression. Are these risks limited to a restricted number of women?
We’d wish. The humanitarian organisation CARE as well as the International Centre for Research on Women both estimate that more than 50 million girls under the age of eighteen are married, many to men twice their age or older. A big number of these brides are Muslim.