Lucky American Women and Afghan Child Brides

Heather Murphy-Raines
No matter how bad the economy gets. No matter how much we worry about paying for college. No matter how much I worry about health issues preventing me from seeing my children to adults, I always tell my daughter we are lucky.

So blessed.

So fortunate.

We can be want who we want to be. Be educated how we want to be. Choose our own religion or no religion. Have freedom to speak our opinions and even write contrary opinions on blogs like The Stir. We are free.  Free to work hard to be at the top of the corporate ladder or to be supreme ruler of our homes. It was my choice. It's her choice.

This choice. This luck.Call it what you will. This blessing of living free as a woman in the United States should never, ever be taken for granted. I remind her this. I remind her how fortunate she is. I especially remind her of this when I read stories like reported on The New York Times.


Stories of  of two 13 and 14 year old girls  forced to marry elderly husbands---illegally no less--and still returned to their village, while trying to cross the border into a more liberal province, by police where they were publicly and brutally flogged. THEIR VICTIMIZERS EVEN VIDEOTAPED THEIR BEATING.

The Times article stated:

"The ordeal of Afghanistan’s child brides illustrates an uncomfortable truth. What in most countries would be considered a criminal offense is in many parts of Afghanistan a cultural norm, one which the government has been either unable or unwilling to challenge effectively."

It was also reported that " From 2000 to 2008, the brides in 43 percent of Afghan marriages were under 18. "

Another video that has been striking in my conscious is this below made from the Economist magazine:

Heart breaking.

For now, my 10-year-old daughter has made known her desire to be a pediatric dentist.  Good education, good pay, nice career, but her #1 goal is life balance. Seriously, she wants balance so she can work regular hours and spend her time equally with her children.  Seriously? She is blessed to choose both family and career rather than it be chosen for her.  Don't you agree?

If you have a daughter or niece or granddaughter, please remind them of our and their fortune too. 

Sadly, some are much less fortunate in this world.

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