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The impact of high cost of weddings on Afghan boys and girls

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The impact of high cost of weddings on Afghan boys and girls

weddingLailuma, a 40 year old woman teaching at a government school, is yet single. Many would knock on her door to ask for her hand when she was in 12th grade.

“My parents did not find it necessary to marry me off then,” responded Lailuma when she was asked why she is still single.

She is now living with her brother and serving her sister-in-law, because otherwise she would become a victim of her sister-in-law’s humiliation and derision.

The traditional Afghan society has made life difficult for a number of Afghan women who are still living at their father’s house and are not married yet.

“Girls who remain single at their parents’ house for a longer time find it shameful to face the people. It is painful for them seeing women of their age that are already married and are a mother. Families should not demand a lot of money from the suitors.”

“Some families refuse to give their daughter’s hand, because the boy’s family cannot afford to pay the Toyana. Some families do not find the suitor right for their daughter. In some cases, some girls have higher expectations.”

Toyana is an x amount of money the groom is required to pay to the bride’s family before the marriage. It is practiced in some parts of Afghanistan.

Depriving women of the right to marry is also a form of violence against women, hailed the Afghan Ministry of Women Affairs.

Deputy Minister Sayeda Muzhgan Mustafwi said the Ministry has emphasized on the practices of true Islamic teachings in this regard.

“We should follow what Islam says in order to allow women to marry at the right age.”

Meanwhile, the Cabinet’s Health and Youth Commission said their efforts in reducing marriage costs have been in vain.

“We drafted a law in this regard and submitted to the Cabinet two years ago, but we have not heard back from them,” said Dr. Naqibullah Fayeq, Head of the Commission.

A number of religious scholars also criticized those parents for their negligence towards the future of their daughters and regarded marriage as Sunnah (the practice of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) that he taught and practically instituted).

High cost of weddings, unacceptable traditional practices and envy (one family demanding to have a more lavish wedding ceremony than the other) are cited as the main reasons why many Afghan boys and girls have remained single.

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