May 29th, 2012
11:52 PM ET

Afghan girls forced to marry

In many cultures around the world, marriages are arranged between the families of the bride and the groom.

But in some cases, very young girls are forced into marriage, crossing the line into the more sinister world of human trafficking.

Laws may exist on the books to prevent girls from being child brides, but those laws are often not enforced. Arwa Damon has this story from Afghanistan.

Topics: Uncategorized

soundoff (82 Responses)
  1. Paul

    Only Afghan girls are being forced to marry?

    Or are we only talking about poor afghan women because we need garner public support to keep the war going?

    May 30, 2012 at 12:44 am | Reply
    • In-Total-Disbelief

      @ Paul: Maybe these stories are being told now to keep up support for the ongoing military support in Afghanistan, but it doesn't change the fact that these poor girls are being forced at a very young age to marry usually much older men. They are treated like cattle, and have no rights whatsoever. This is unacceptable.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:03 am | Reply
      • joe

        How in the world is it our business how other cultures behave? Haven't we interfered with enough people yet?

        June 4, 2012 at 4:30 am |
      • teleco4

        Joe– forcing 12 year girls to marry 50 year old men, usually along with some kind of financial remuneration, it NOT culture. It's human trafficking and as supposedly moral people, we should be outraged and do what is in our power to do to stop this disgusting practice, not just in Afghanistan, but anywhere it exists.

        June 13, 2012 at 11:44 am |
      • ArghONaught

        It is amusing what some people think is their business. I suspect the 50 year old Afghan men don't understand what the problem with having a 12 year old bride is; and the 12 year old brides parents are equally confused. The US executes lots of people but for some reason that is our right because those are our laws and "traditions". Strange one-sided values, are those not? Death for someone who is or is not guilty compared to a 12 year old being essentially sold into marriage by tradition? Curious differences that are equally valid in the respective cultures, no?

        June 13, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
      • Ahmed

        @Joe, I don't think anybody is interfering here...
        Stealing the innocence of a child is a crime in any culture.
        Raising the awareness to combat trafficking and saving children is not wrong.

        June 19, 2012 at 9:34 am |
    • cocopuf

      Why don't you grow up and think before you write. This has nothing to do with garner support to keep any war going. It has more to do with human rights, dignity, morality, mistreatments, and clearly sinful behavior.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:11 am | Reply
      • Sam

        Um... kindly open your eyes. This has nothing to do with the war? Same thing happens in Saudi Arabia. Why aren't we talking about it? Don't be a sheep.

        June 7, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • FifthApe

      In fact is lessens the support for the war. 10 yrs in and these people still act like they are in the stone age. Get out now...

      May 30, 2012 at 7:53 am | Reply
    • D T

      Paul, You're an idiot. You are also most likely a liberal jackazz who has never been to Afghanistan nor served in the military, so your comment has no meaning – as does your pathetic excuse for a brain. Forced marriages are common in that culture, however forced marriages to children is looked down upon by the common Afghan people, but not the Taliban or their sick-minded supporters like you.

      May 31, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Reply
      • spocksbrain

        I'd agree with you totally except I see you are a right wing nutjob jakazz. Too bad you had to drop the L word showing us all your education consisted of graduating for the Right WIng Talk Radio Jakazz University for brainswashed dittoheads. Being liberal btw, doesn't mean you like the Taliban nor does it mean you condone marrying off children. I myself am a Liberal and abhor acid thrown in schoolgirls faces, applaud the killing of OBL (done by Liberals btw) and supported the war in Afganistan though I see its likely a failed effort. You are a dumb tool.

        June 6, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
      • BE NICE

        Try to use nice words.

        June 8, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Shah

      You are right paul. I agree with you and it's a critically obvious point you mentioned but these people are too dumb to understand it

      May 31, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Reply
      • NBOT

        shah spelled backwards is idiot

        June 1, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • NBOT

      you are the missing link. really? are you sitting in your faux leather lazy boy recliner typing away, spewing your view with no idea of what the hell you're talking about? hope you don't have daughters, or girlfriends that have to hear your opinions.

      June 1, 2012 at 12:51 pm | Reply
    • psap1

      Forced marriage issue should not only be confined to Afghanistan, but wherever it exists.

      June 7, 2012 at 8:39 am | Reply
    • Reality

      I don't hear about Congolese women so often who are being raped every day, Its just war propaganda and nothing else.

      June 13, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
  2. Alice

    There are forced marriages also in the US, why not investigate Indian, Pakistan, etc and the american travellers[ gypsies] that force girls to marry young with virtual unkhown men.

    May 30, 2012 at 1:55 am | Reply
    • cocopuf

      Yes, and that is inappropriate too and should be investigated too. Unfortunately, it is the same thing with most of Islam.

      Islam, is the exact opposite, to Christianity and Judaism despite what they tell you. Mohamed, in the 6th century wasn't much different then either.

      May 30, 2012 at 2:24 am | Reply
      • whuut

        cocopuf, I think you are missing a lot of knowledge that is yet to struck your brains. Yes Mohammed is said to have married a 9 year old girl as one of the many wife's he had back then, but the same goes for some Christians and Jews for that matter, don't blame religion (there is nothing holy about religion, it is made by people for people) for the stupidity of people. It is the stupidity of people that lead to such things, horrible things. Ignorance and stupidity go a long way. Unfortunately the fact remains that especially in countries (poor countries, where a small group of people control the rest, no rules and the ones who are smart are being kept under leash, not allowed to speak and or to help change the minds of the stupid ones) such as Afghanistan you see forced marriages (underage also) and other misconduct.

        A sick world we are living in, where the rich get richer, the poor get poorer and the stupid get even more stupid:(. And the only thing we continue to do is pray and do things in the name of god this god that.

        May 30, 2012 at 3:15 am |
      • just someone

        whuut, I find it kind rather odd that you tell someone else he is missing knowledge and then tell that all religion is a stupidity while it gives some people hope.
        I'm not religious myself but i see a lot of good things being done out of believe that we are there to help the ones that need our help (with is a big part of a lot of religions).
        and as everyone in the "western world" is seen as the "richer" I think most people that are commenting on this site shouldn't be the ones that are complaining about this.

        btw sorry for any spelling or grammar mistakes english is not my first language

        May 30, 2012 at 5:58 am |
      • Brandon


        Perhaps it has not struck the brain of the previous poster that Mohammed is worshipped as an idol throughout the Muslim world, for many he is the ultimate example of a good Muslim man and how he should act. And his betrothing of his 9 year old pride is still held up as an example which justifies the common practices in Sudan, for example, or that which the article describes. By all means, criticize the people who promote and engage in this disgusting practice, but that starts with the freedom and the courage to criticize the belief and the religion. Most muslims will not bring themselves to admit that anything that Mohammed did was less than divine, much less disgusting or immoral, and THIS is the problem.

        As soon as Lutherans start blowing up Mosques or Catholic churches citing justification by the words of Martin Luther (who you could reasonably interpret would support violence) then they will get their due repudiation. Don't lie to yourself and others and dismiss the truth about the current state of affairs by saying that all religions are equal and its only the stupidity of people which we can criticize.

        May 30, 2012 at 6:11 am |
      • adco

        well well well, muhammad saw married a 9 year old but have you seen what did the 9 year old said about her husband, did u get any negative thing about muhammad in history , or from other wives...grow up man, Muhammad has changed the world, he gave it light and he gave it lessons to follow, he was not an ordinary ones otherwise his name would not have been there till now, hes being loved and followed around, burying the females was the culture at that time and Muhammad saw was sent to stop all these,,,how shameful you have been to see 9 year old s when it was part of culture only for ur ugly remarks, u sinful lustful nations of billions..grow up ur 9year olds doesnt know who their fathers are...

        May 30, 2012 at 7:33 am |
      • Mehman

        It is a major problem, but in the exealpms that you have given it takes no time at all for them to respond to just acknowledge they have received your email / enquiry and get back to it as soon as poss, and if they haven't had a chance to get back to you properly for a while to just send an update to you.

        October 14, 2012 at 12:19 am |
    • shraeve

      One small correction: if by "gypsies" you mean the Roma, you are wrong about the "travelers" being part of that group. The Roma are descendants of people who left India around a thousand years ago and spread throughout Europe, and later throughout much of the world. The travelers are descendants of Irish itinerant metal-smiths who came to the USA in the mid-nineteenth century and settled in the South. The two groups are completely different.

      May 30, 2012 at 3:37 am | Reply
    • Shah

      Thank you Alice for speaking the truth !!

      May 31, 2012 at 4:53 pm | Reply
    • seharazad

      Very Very strange,

      How many times you visit India or Pakistan?

      June 5, 2012 at 9:02 am | Reply
  3. Favour

    As citizens with rights, girls should not be forced into marriages.

    May 30, 2012 at 2:12 am | Reply
    • Islame

      Women/girls have no rights under Islame.

      June 1, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Reply
      • seharazad

        Islam is the only religion have rights for girls!

        June 5, 2012 at 9:05 am |
      • Pifl

        It isn't the religion, it is the culture that has issues with women's rights. I have a friend who is a Pakistani Muslim here in the United States that is getting an arranged marriage and hasn't even met the guy. The religion does give more rights and credit to men but says nothing about men choosing for the women. That is strictly a cultural thing. Women are not supposed to marry outside of their religion.

        June 7, 2012 at 8:12 am |
      • Reality

        If you have issue with Islam than go live in Christian Congo where 1000 women are raped every day.

        June 12, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  4. Yousef

    first of all.this report represent some people in Afghanstan,these group of people who treat their daughters like this they do not represent Islam..they just represent their selves,Islam is such a huge religion,
    go to the USA and Europe some how women are being treated...they are being raped,taking drugs,and beaten who cares.
    women in that countries are a cheap items they sell their bodies in the Bars,nightclubs and honor no loyality no respect . you make a reports in Middle east,you should look up the other part in the world and make reports over there.

    May 30, 2012 at 4:04 am | Reply

      There is sure 100% prejudice for girls in Islam.
      when islam boy marries non-islam girls , they tell it is good . because by this girl becomes islam.

      when islam girl marries non-islam girls , they start pelting stone on the girl.

      June 7, 2012 at 6:55 am | Reply
      • Pifl

        you mean non-islam *men?

        June 7, 2012 at 8:15 am |
      • vimal

        Yes I m correcting when girls in islam marry to a boy not in islam , it is not accepted in islam.

        June 9, 2012 at 12:24 am |
      • seharazad

        But Dude, In Jewish, Christianity and Hinduism you cannot marry to a non Jewish & non Christen.

        How it is correct? Even there is not rule of Divorce in religions other than Islam.

        Jewish and christen do not follow their religions that is a pure exception

        I do not Understand, what right is given by Christianity or Jewish or Hinduism to a girl. Only one religion gave right to women and that is Islam. Or religions less people are doing whatever they want to do.

        June 10, 2012 at 9:04 am |
      • One Angry Southern Woman

        seharazad–That is not true at all. Christians are free to marry whomever they choose. In the U.S., there are many families that are blends of Christian and Jewish, or Christian and Hindu or Muslim. Every country has bigots, but in general, we are very successful at living together.

        June 16, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
  5. jaoude

    The next article from CNN should be about the taliban attacking nude beaches all over Afghanistan

    May 30, 2012 at 5:14 am | Reply
  6. Katie

    It's the way it's been there, it's their culture. We can't hold them to our beliefs since they don't believe the same things... If they don't like it then they have to make the changes...

    May 30, 2012 at 5:56 am | Reply
  7. inc0gnito

    I believe the reason and the name of the game that causes all this is as old as time itself: Poverty. There is no amount of Islam or christianity or judaism that can over come the effects of Poverty.

    May 30, 2012 at 6:18 am | Reply
    • Brandon

      Maybe a more interesting question then becomes: Where does poverty come from? Why is it that some nations are rich and others have a small ruling class and a population in poverty?

      May 30, 2012 at 6:42 am | Reply
  8. Islame

    Islame is lame and the problem. Enough said.

    May 30, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Reply
    • Reality

      If Islam is problem than
      So why 1000 women are being raped in Christian country Congo every day ?
      Why 50000000 women are missing from Hindu India ?
      Why WW2, WW1 which killed more than 100 million people happened in Christian West ?

      June 12, 2012 at 12:24 pm | Reply
  9. sawolf

    Further proof that Afghanistan should have been sublimated, would have gotten rid of the heroin problem too.

    May 30, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Reply
  10. ProphetMuhammad

    Why not? I forced a 6 year old girl to marry me when I was 56 and now my followers imitate me. It is islam.

    June 1, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
    • MyPictureOfMuhammad


      June 1, 2012 at 7:54 pm | Reply
    • seharazad

      I think you are out of your mind? are you a jewish? offcourse you will be

      June 5, 2012 at 8:57 am | Reply
      • Are

        Are you a Towel Head? Yep.

        June 8, 2012 at 9:45 am |
  11. tek

    Liberal women's advocacy groups have been stone cold silent on how women are treated by the Taliban for years now. Why is that?

    June 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Reply
    • NoTheyHaven't

      No they haven't. Idiot.

      June 1, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Reply
  12. kirthi

    Indian Arranged marriages aren't forced – it's a partnership like a business partnership. Families meet, bride and groom meets, they shake hands and arrange it. The bride and groom meet each other and like each other, otherwise they don't marry. It's better than sleeping around feigning love, and then divorcing each other. Don't compare India with these hell hole islamic countries.

    June 3, 2012 at 1:09 am | Reply
    • seharazad

      You are 100 percent right about arranged marriages but don’t use this language about Islamic countries. It is not the religion it is the people who use religion to cover their crimes under the carpet of religion.

      Don’t forget in the whole world India have the third biggest population of Muslim. Is that means India is # 1 country in list of forced marriages victim countries

      June 5, 2012 at 9:12 am | Reply

        Bad-Indians are extra-intelligent. They say :
        Cow is our mother . Because we know how to drink milk.
        We never say Cow is our sister or Cow is our daughter.

        Bad people appraise if islam-boy marries non-islam girl.
        Bad people pelts stone on islam-girl if she marries to non-islam boys.

        All religion should order such bad people should be given tight punishments.

        punishments should be harder than violence.

        June 7, 2012 at 7:04 am |
    • Ahmed

      India is just as same as the other islamic countries or perhaps worse when it comes to female infanticide, Dowry related deaths. Marriage is no business relationship, it is meant to be a bond of love between two souls.

      Lets not forget India was voted as the worst country to be a woman among G20.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:53 am | Reply
  13. idunno

    It's amazing how quick we are to forget our past. Not even 100 years ago 13 year old girls were marrying 40 year old men for farm land and pigs. Not even 150 years ago, being fat in Europe was a status symbol of royalty or wealth; now Europeans hate Americans for being fat. Not 150 years ago America was industrializing; now we complain that China is polluting too much when they are trying to industrialize. Amazing how becoming "civilized" entails forgetting your past. We look at countries doing the exact same things we did and laugh at it.

    June 4, 2012 at 10:53 am | Reply
    • Ahmed

      Yeah medieval europe was like afghanistan or rather much worse.
      But Europeans had the courage to question, challenge and correct their mistakes. What we see here today is Muslims lack the courage to do right and find it convenient to stick to the medieval archaic beliefs

      June 19, 2012 at 9:46 am | Reply
      • Fatma

        starfusion August 4, 2009 too bad na from their point of view, hindi sila nahahabag o nbbaaahala. They wouldn't say such if they were ignorant. Hindi sila manhid para maging mapangdiskrimina. If you talk to such (kind of) people, prepare yourself baka kailanganin mong magsumbong.

        August 2, 2012 at 4:30 am |
  14. idunno

    and we tell them they aren't allowed to do the same things we did.

    June 4, 2012 at 10:55 am | Reply
    • PTG

      i dunno

      June 5, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Reply
    • Ahmed

      No we are telling them don't do the same mistakes we did in the past.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:48 am | Reply
  15. Common Sense

    Wait WHAT? Afghan women FORCED to marry? This is news to me. Thank you CNN for keeping me up to date!

    June 6, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Reply
  16. seharazad
    But Dude, In Jewish, Christianity and Hinduism you cannot marry to a non Jewish & non Christen.

    How it is correct? Even there is not rule of Divorce in religions other than Islam.

    Jewish and christen do not follow their religions that is a pure exception

    I do not Understand, what right is given by Christianity or Jewish or Hinduism to a girl. Only one religion gave right to women and that is Islam. Or religions less people are doing whatever they want to do.

    June 10, 2012 at 9:19 am | Reply
    • Ahmed

      The problem with us muslims is that whenever some body points out our faults we take it as a personal insult on Islam and start banging our heads crying "Islam under attack" slogan.
      The fact is yes we as muslims have perpetuated a lot of abuse at children, wives and weaker sections of the society. We must change ourselves before we force others to change us. We are at fault now not them.
      Yes other religions have not done anything much on human rights but they have done much better than us by adopting through the changing faces of civilization by challenging their past dogma's and are in a much better position in terms of rights to muslims today.

      June 19, 2012 at 9:42 am | Reply
    • Bruno

      aiyeezh September 16, 2009 seryoso?!?! adik ung boss mo!!=) meron din akong boss befroe na nung inoffer nmin sakanya ung polvoron sabi nya ang mga pinoy daw an we-weird..kasi kung anu anu daw ang kinakain ntin pero fave nya chicken-pork adobo! baliw dba?! =p

      August 2, 2012 at 2:29 am | Reply
  17. Ryan

    Hey bigots! Whatever happened to multiculturalism? Celebrate the diversity! Feel the love. Why should we tell them how to live, any more than they should tell us?

    June 11, 2012 at 12:40 pm | Reply
  18. Joe L

    Islam's three biggest enemies: truth, justice, and freedom.

    June 13, 2012 at 6:36 pm | Reply
  19. qwapqwarp

    The kids CCN use their pictures as ads on this page is a violation of their right because they have no idea and the unlearned African women have little or no opinion.

    June 14, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Reply
  20. To the Hilt

    Arranged marrage is great! She cannot tell you 'no' at ANY time you want to 'bless' her with a deep-seated cream-pie in her brown eye.

    June 14, 2012 at 2:33 pm | Reply
    • Ahmed

      You must be rather sick or from one of those hell hole countries

      June 19, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
      • Juzef

        must be fair to say that the french are iansvidudliitic, in a not-so-humble way. if you get past that character of them, i guess you can go along well with any other nationalities. (i don't really buy the donation thing.)i am not fond of french people but the very few i like i really look up to. (uhm, like truffaut and godard and bazin, haha)

        August 1, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
  21. Walter Sieruk

    Such terrible things as this happen in Afghanistan as well as in other Islamic countries. This because Islam is a religion of misogyny. For example the former Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote in her book INFIDEL "Every society that is still in the grip of Islam oppresses women and also lag behind in development...Societies that respect the rights of women and their freedoms are wealthy and peaceful." Likelwise , Brigitte Gabriel in her book THEY MUST BE STOPPED wrote Women in Islam are considered unclean, deemed inferior even to dirt."

    June 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm | Reply
    • seharazad

      Mr. Walter Sieruk,
      You don't know anything about Islam. check on internet women rights in ISLAM and you will be shocked. and after that check women rights in Christanty, Catholic, hinduism, or any religion other than Islam. you will be more shocked. There is no rights of women in any religion other than Islam.

      although religionless people are free to do whatever they want to do because they are direct enemies of God.

      June 19, 2012 at 8:51 am | Reply
      • Ahmed

        Fine Islam has human rights in it, but have muslims implemented them?
        No, they have not.

        June 19, 2012 at 9:43 am |
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