The narrative of gender rights in Afghanistan and other countries in its league is mainly characterized by a focus on the plight of women. What remains less appreciated is that, like war, disease and poverty, some practices such as underage marriage affect women and men.
Anna Badkhen has the sad but well-told story of Ozyr Khul, an Afghan boy in his early teens, who is getting married to a 16-year-old girl in his village. Among other things, the story makes this important point:
Afghan and international nonprofits consider the problem of child brides to be one of the foremost threats to women’s rights here.
What is addressed less often, and studied less thoroughly, is that many of the child newlyweds are boys.
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