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Freedom through Journalism: A Young Girl’s Escape from Child Marriage

Freedom through Journalism: A Young Girl’s Escape from Child Marriage

In developing countries, lack of funds can lead individuals to make detrimental decisions. For six-year-old Afghan girl, Naghma, an anonymous donation meant freedom from child marriage.

Naghma’s father, Taj Mohammad, borrowed $2,500 from a refugee-camp resident to pay for a hospital treatment for his wife and a few of his nine children. If Mohammad could not pay it off within a year, Naghma would be forced to wed the lender’s 17-year-old son.

After the New York Times released this story last Monday, an anonymous donor paid off the debt through an American lawyer. Naghma, although still bound for a life of poverty, will return to her parents and not be forced to wed.

Naghma is one of the luckier young girls in Afghanistan: half of all girls are forced to marry under the age of 15, according to estimates by the United Nations agency, although the legal age in Afghanistan is 16. However, if more awareness is spread worldwide, this horrible practice can be lessened and eventually stopped.

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