Child Marriage Around the World: Afghanistan — Somaya

Somaya was 13 and completing seventh grade when, as she says, “I lost my childhood.” Her father, Aminallah, accepted a $3,300 payment in exchange for marrying her off to a relative’s son.

The girl begged her new husband and in-laws to allow her to return to school, “but they wouldn’t let me.” Instead, she says, they cursed and beat her. Finally, after months of struggle, she obtained a divorce. Now living with her mother and brother, Somaya has found comfort in their company and pride in her work as a seamstress.

Voice of America reporters around the world focused on the worth of a girl to reveal how a young bride is valued by two families: the one she leaves behind and the one she joins. Explore the full project