Muslim girls forced to marry older grooms


Mar 16, 2014-

Parents of Tayasa, a 17-year-old Muslim girl of Puraina VDC in the district, recently married her off to a man twice her age just to avoid dowry.

Likewise, a 14-year-old girl of the VDC was also married to a 35-year-old man recently.

Parents from the Muslim and Madhesi communities in the district are forced to arrange unmatched marriages of their daughters as they cannot afford dowries as demanded by matching grooms. Interestingly, in most cases, men who are widower or have already divorced their first wives do not demand dowries. “Widowers do not ask for dowry to get married again. So many parents tend to get their daughters married with widowers or divorced men, regardless of the age gap,” said Asagar Ali, former secretary of Puraina VDC.

“Impoverished parents are worried about daughter’s future. They tend to fix their daughters’ marriage to men who do not want dowry,” said Mustak Ali Rai, chairman of the Rural Society Upliftment Forum Nepal. “If a man comes forward saying that he will not receive any dowry, parents readily offer him their daughter,” female community health volunteer Lila Singh said.

According to a study carried out by a club working for the welfare of Muslim adolescents in Nepalgunj and surrounding areas, 461 children were found to have already got married and divorced within three months to five years.

Published: 16-03-2014 09:12

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