In Afghanistan, a startling trend is emerging. Recently a family of a 13-year-old girl received 40,000 Afghani ($800) for allowing the girl to marry her father's cousin, and nine-year-old brides are traded for wheat and two cows. As a result of the trend of young girls being sold into marriage, midwives are helping girls as young as 10 years old deliver babies, only to see many mothers perish in childbirth.
These child brides are being sold in Afghanistan not because of religion or tradition, but because of poverty. Many people live in remote villages, separated from the nearest town by weeks of travel and massive snow. Many Afghanis are dying from hunger and cold. Local and global food shortages have caused the price of food to double, with no relief in sight.
In these circumstances, parents feel marriage is the only way to save their daughters.
We've been hearing a lot about child brides and mothers on a Texas compound associated with the FLDS. Do you have a different reaction to the situation in Afghanistan?