The practice of young marriages has been prevalent in the South Asian region for a long time. Despite thousands of girls falling victim to it, even in 2020, it is quite common in villages and rural areas.
What encourages this practice is the patriarchal mindset that gives the daughters a lesser status than the sons and is are considered a ‘burden’ on the family. Even when traditional and societal norms, along with an orthodox religious school of thought backing it up, the medical implications of this ‘common practice’ need our collective attention. This story of this child bride is truly an eye-opener for us.
This 14-year-old girl from Bangladesh, hardly survived a month after her wedding to a 34-year-old guy. The young girl was married off simply because the family was struggling with poverty. The groom, on the other hand, worked in UAE and earned sufficiently.
The wedding that claimed her life
The cause of this bride’s death was excessive genital bleeding, which started right on the first night of her marriage. Even when the girl informed the in-laws about the happenings, she was only taken to a local village doctor, while the man didn’t bother to keep his distance from her despite her condition.
Her in-laws were least bothered about her deteriorating health, and only took her to the doctor when she was already struggling between life and death. Ultimately, the beautiful relationship that is supposed to bring peace and joy companionship to a woman’s life, claimed her life.
Ironically, the family of the girl, who themselves are guilty of marrying their underage daughter and her putting her through this, filed a complaint to the police.
The police apprehended her in-laws, while the main culprit, the girl’s husband, has been sentenced to two years in prison This case raises many questions: How can parents get their daughters married at such an early age and put them through this? Are 2 years of imprisonment enough for this person as a punishment, unless we talk about ‘marital rape’ , which is the exact reason for her death?
This is not only one story from Bangladesh – it is commonly happening in Pakistan as well. For some, this harsh reality is too much to face, and others just decide to turn a blind eye towards it.
It’s about time we speak up against child marriage and the punishments laws in our country. Strict legislation is needed against marital rape in Pakistan; otherwise, we will continue to lose our children at the hands of such beasts.
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