Report says Afghans are promising their daughters as young as 7 for marriage in exchange for cash

A child walks through Fort Bliss' Doña Ana Village where Afghan refugees are being housed, in New Mexico, Friday, Sept. 10, 2021.David Goldman/AP Photo

Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan, some desperate families have resorted to selling their kids into marriage to make ends meet.

Benazir, for example, is an 8-year-old girl from Afghanistan whose family sold her for $2,000. The money will go toward keeping the rest of the family, including eight kids, alive, Benzari’s father told NBC News.

“We are 10 people in the family. I’m trying to keep 10 alive by sacrificing one,” Muraad Khan, 55, told NBC News. Khan hasn’t worked in months, which has made it hard to feed his large family.

Benazir will be married to a boy from a family in Iran, Khan told NBC News. The man who bought her will “just take her hand and take her away from me,” he said. “He will take her away and say, ‘She’s ours now.'”

Her best friend Saliha, 7, has also been sold into marriage for $2,000, according to NBC News. Saliha’s father said he needed to sell her to pay off debt.

Benazir and Saliha are just the latest examples of children given away by their families in Afghanistan in exchange for desperately needed cash.

Earlier this month, a report came out of an Afghan father saying he sold his 9-year-old daughter, Parwana Malik, to a man for $2,200 to be able to afford food for his wife and other kids. The family has lived in a northwest province of Afghanistan for years, struggling to pay for basic needs like food. Together, they earn just a few dollars a day.

Last month, a woman named Saleha said she sold her 3-year-old daughter for $550 because, like the Maliks, she didn’t have enough money to sustain herself. When Insider readers heard of Saleha’s story, dozens offered to pay off her debt.

Source: El Universal