Meanwhile in Afghanistan, girls are selling well

What were you planning in July? Holidays, quiet work? Camp for kids? Elbis says Afasana is getting married. Her father explained to her that she was going to live a fairy tale, and that her future husband was some kind of prince charming. Besides, he is 25 years old, which is the right age for a prince.

But Afasana is not very happy. She tries to force her to smile. “At least I will eat twice a day.”

Afasaneh is 8 years old. Before the end of the month, it will be sold to a stranger seventeen years older than her, who bought it for the equivalent of 2,300 euros. His father, Yasi, is not very proud: I obviously didn’t want to do that, but since the Taliban arrived, I’ve lost my job as a sweeper. We had to leave Kabul for this isolated area of ​​Kandahar province, where one of my uncles and his family live. I was supposed to get a job on the poppy farms, but the system decided this would be the last pick, and there was almost no need for day laborers anymore. Without money, we had no other solution.”

Yasi says many suitors came forward and took the best. He is not very old, he is from a good family and ensures that the little one will be able to go to school. “We are all sad. Avasana cries every night. Everything will be fine, God willing.”

Given the mood of women and girls in Afghanistan since the rise of the Taliban, God seems to have his head elsewhere, and life does not look good for Afsana, who will in all likelihood face serial rapes and serial pregnancies to death, in a country where there is virtually no official presence for women. Other than that where it is allowed to be used and punished, and where it is reduced to the status of “things”.

Since the US pulled out in August 2021, the international community has frozen the aid money that has accounted for more than 75% of the country’s revenue. The consequences are dire in a place marked by twenty years of conflict, drought, winter floods and famine, not to mention the earthquake of the last June that killed more than a thousand people. According to the United Nations, the country was devastated by an unprecedented famine, and the number of Afghans suffering from hunger increased from 14 million in July 2021 to 23 million in March 2022.

Sold from 3 years ago

Afsana plays with Afshin, a 3 year old girl. She was sold, too, but she doesn’t know it yet. His father explains that he contracted the debt and threatened to kill him if he did not pay it. He owes the equivalent of 4,700 euros. So he decided to sell one of his daughters.

Arranged marriages have long been a common practice in many parts of Afghanistan. The family sells the little girl at a very young age, and at best does not leave her family before the age of 15. According to the United Nations, 28% of them have been delivered before. The sale of children, including boys, was already taking place before the arrival of the Taliban. In the Afasana community, many children are sold to the highest bidder.

The Qurban family lives in the nearby Helmand Province. Raswa goes out to light a fire to heat a pot of “Aush Ghoshti” (tomato soup). Afzal, his 4-year-old daughter, appears, dipping a piece of bread in the pan, and eating it while sitting next to her father. “I had a lot of debt, and I couldn’t pay itstarts talking. One day, my boss came, and he chose the most beautiful. She will come soon. It’s only a matter of time.”

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