As explained in my previous post, the reasons for forced marriages are complex and varied. Whatever the rationale, the result may subject a young woman to severe and sustained abuse, including domestic violence, marital rape, and other forms of violence, decreased levels of education, health complications, and a life of submission and dependence. Although there are myriad consequences of a forced marriage, the following are just a tip of the iceberg:
“I got married a short time ago, but I am not happy with my husband. My family forced me to marry him. My problem is that I do not want to have children from him.”
Miss Chao (died, 1919)
Chao Wu-chieh of Changsha, China, was engaged to marry Wu Feng-lin of Kantzuyuan, China. The marriage had been arranged. The couple had met on a couple of ceremonial occasions. Miss Chao disliked her husband-to be, but her parents insisted that the marriage go ahead. When she was raised up in the bridal chair, to be carried shoulder-high to her husband-to be’s home, she drew a dagger and cut her throat, killing herself. We know about her death because Mao Tse-tung wrote on the events several times. Interestingly, he stated, “A person’s suicide is entirely determined by circumstances”. He railed against the culture of the time and the lack of individual rights, and recommended social change.
Gul Rukh (died, 1976)
In the vast majority of cases of forced marriage leading to suicide, the bride is decades younger than her husband. In this Afghani case, the reverse was the situation. The Gul and Malang families were related. When Rukh was 1 year old, a boy was born into the Malang family. When he was 1 month old, the families arranged their marriage and an engagement was celebrated according to local custom. However, the boy died at 2. When Rukh was 5 years old, another son was born to the Malang family, and she was again promised in marriage. When the husband-to-be was 17, he was killed by accident, during wedding preparations. Rukh was then promised to the youngest Malang family son, Khan (aged 5 years). Kahn was teased at school for being engaged to an “old woman”, and he protested that he did not want to marry Rukh. Nevertheless, they were married when Rukh was 37 and Khan was 20 years. He rejected her and the following year she died by self-immolation.
Fariba (died 2007)
Fariba was 18 years of age and lived in the Kapisa province of Afghanistan. She had been pleased to become engaged to Mujahid, aged 22, 3 years earlier. However, Mujahid had gone to work in Iran, and when he returned he was addicted to drugs. In these circumstances, Fariba was adamant that she did not want to marry him. As pressure to marry increased, and she could not persuade her parents otherwise, she completed suicide by shooting.
Adyru Begum (died, 2010)
Adyru Begum was 12 years of age, a grade 5 student living in Rangpur, Bangladesh. Against her will, her father arranged her marriage to an adult man (Enamul Haque). After the marriage ceremony, and during the wedding feast, Aduri completed suicide by taking poison.
Mitu Molla and Soud Sheikh (died, 2012)
Mitu Molla (16 years) and Soud Sheikh (17 years) lived in neighboring villages in Gopalganj district, Bangladesh. After their affair became public, Molla’s mother took her to a town 200k from her village and married her against her will, to a man twice her age. At this point, Sheikh was at high school in the capital Dhaka.
Two months later, when Molla went home to visit her parents, Sheikh left Dhaka and met her in her village. On Valentine’s Day, they tied their hands together and jumped to their deaths from a mobile phone tower. Sheikh had earlier telephoned his brother to say that they planned to die on Valentine’s Day “to stay together forever”
Amina Filali (died, 2012)
Amina was 15 years of age when she was raped, in Morocco, by a man 10 years her senior. The matter went to court and the judge ordered or recommended (depending on reporting source) that the couple marry. By this mechanism, her honor would be restored and her rapist could avoid a lengthy jail sentence. In Morocco, the age of consent to marry is 18 years, but this can be varied in special circumstances. Amina married her rapist and lived at his family home. Her mother (Zohra) reports that he beat her severely, and shortly afterwards, Amina committed suicide by ingesting rat poison.
It is therefore essential that parents should decide as to what exactly they desire for their children before forcing them to accept inhumane circumstances that may lead to a destructive marital journey.
Category: MARITAL AWARENESS
About the Author (Author Profile)
I’m Fayaz Pasha from Bangalore, the Silicon Valley and Garden City of India. I’m a Certified Life Coach and an NLP Practitioner. I love reading, writing and convey my thoughts through Poetry. I would like to make my humble contribution to the Society through this blog towards detoxification of social evils particularly the dowry system.