Forced marriage trend on decline in Paktia
GARDEZ (Pajhwok): Public awareness campaigns have led to a remarkable decrease in forced marriages, marring off girls as a dispute settlement mechanism, in southeastern Paktia province, said officials of the Human Rights Commission (HRC) and women's affairs department.
Noor Ahmad Shahim, human rights director, told Pajhwok Afghan News that earlier the family of the murderer had to give their two daughters to the family of the deceased person to settle personal feud or a dispute.
Shahim recalled that during the last few years this kind of trend witnessed up to 80 percent fall. People have now realized that that kind of marriages would create certain problems in future.
This positive development is achieved following hectic efforts by civil society and human rights organization which increased awareness among people against the phenomena of marriages of dispute settlement, Shahim added.
Nasrin Oriakhel, director women affairs, also acknowledged that the number of these kinds of marriages had reduced to great extent. The reason behind the decline of the long adopted tradition is their struggle and hard work that they have done in deferent parts of the society, Oriakhel added.
Oriakhel said directorate of women affairs in the province was committed to accelerate their struggle against this kind of negative custom that virtually left the society paralyzed.
Haji Riaz, a tribal elder in Paktia, said that a large number of people in the province were against this trend to give one’s sister or daughter in dispute settlement.
He said that the trend was now replaced by giving cash or land to resolve a dispute between two families instead.
“In past, a dispute had to be settled to give one’s sister or daughter to the bereaved family to settle a specific dispute,” he recalled. Now this tradition has became a story of past,” he said, adding that people now understood that that kind of marriage would lead to problems in the long-run.
Hasan Gul, a resident of Dand Patan district, who gave his two daughters in (Baad), to resolve a personal enmity, said: “Ten years back, I shot dead a man over a land dispute. A Jirga settled the dispute and I had to give my two daughters to the victim’s family.”
He said when his daughters knew about the decision, one of his daughters committed suicide and the other was living a miserable life.
Hassan Gul said his daughter had now four children but her father-in-law's family still misbehaved her and taunted her that she was given them in Baad.
The trend of given one’s sisters or daughters in dispute resolution were against the law of violence against women.
Meanwhile, religious scholars were of the opinion that these kinds of marriages were against the principles and teachings of Islam, which should be prevented.
Maulvi Ahmad Sultan, a religious scholar, told there was no place of such kinds of marriages in Islam and it should be stopped immediately.
“According to the perception of Islam, there is nothing like this to punish another person instead of the criminal, an indirect reference to give one’s sisters or daughters to resolve a dispute or personal enmity.
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