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International

I just read another article about an 11-year-old Afghan girl that has been sold and married to a 40-year-old man. This really makes me sick. I wonder: What is the position of the feminists in this world towards this issue? Do we just say "That's the way they are, that's legal in their country, so what?" I am pretty new to being politically interested and am really worried about where tolerance ends and the fight for human rights starts.

   

I think that feminists are very outraged by marriages like the one you describe and even more so the circumstances that allow people to think that's okay or normal. For instance, the reason girls are sold into marriage is often because the family needs money — and so it's not only an issue of sexism, but also of elitism and pitting one family against another. And also the society that makes this experience sound normal, when there is nothing normal about a 12-year-old marrying a 40-year-old. I think that people justify their lack of action on not wanting to intrude on other cultures, but that fact is — when it comes to something this — other cultures think that's absurd, too.

Feminist organizations such as Equality Now and Feminist Majority Foundation and the International Women's Health Coalition, etc. are working on issues like child marriage. I think that you should research those groups and see what they suggest you can do to get more involved. Also, you can probably reach out to groups in Afghanistan and other countries where things like this happen. I think the more local you can get, the better it is to understand what to do. Thanks for your passion.

Amy