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A woman opens up about her life as a child bride

POSTED April 26, 2019

A woman opens up about her life as a child bride

CCFC and partners are making progress in India on ending a harmful global practice

Child Bride India

Pooja (not her real name) was 13 when her parents took her out of school and made her marry. 

On her wedding night, Pooja’s husband beat her repeatedly for spurning his advances. The next day, Pooja escaped to her parents’ home; they sent her back to her husband. That was just the beginning.

“Why are girls treated as inferior to boys?,” she asks, as she tells her story in the video below. “Many feel sad for having a girl child. Some hate a girl child. Is it wrong to be born a girl?”

Twelve-million girls around the world are forcibly married every year, reports UNICEF. Child brides live in every region of the world, from the Middle East to Latin America, South Asia to Europe. In India, where Pooja lives, 27 percent of girls marry before they’re 18, as reported by Girls Not Brides.

When a girl is forced to marry, she loses her chance at an education, has little or no prospects to earn a living or make decisions in the home and is at high risk of developing reproductive health problems and being a victim of violence.

Watch this video to see Pooja’s story and hear how Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) is working with partners and communities in South India to end child marriage.

Child brides of India: Pooja’s story  -Music- Pooja: I was married when I was 13 years old. Although I refused this marriage proposal, my parents did not accept it. -Music- Pooja: I was beaten up by my father continuously for three days to make me accept it. -Music- Pooja: I have faced many struggles in my husband’s home. I used to be beaten up by him daily, and I was in so much pain. -Crying- Pooja: My parents never interfered in my family life. I had to stay with my husband. I did not know what to do in this situation. I lost hope in life and attempted suicide three times. The first time, I tried to hang from a ceiling fan. -Music- Pooja: My husband saw this and rescued me. The second time, I swallowed sleeping pills. The third time, I cut my hand with a blade. My nerves were cut and my hand was bleeding heavily. I realized that I have to live for my children. I took a strong decision that I should not die. -Music- Pooja: Why are girls treated as inferior to boys? Many of them feel sad for having a girl child. Some hate a girl child. Is it wrong to be born as a girl? Why are there early forced marriages? When will we recognize the girl child? Why don’t we ask her whether a girl wants to study or get a job? Parents who force their child to marry should be punished. Parents should be aware that their children should be educated. They should stand on their own and get a good job. Until that time children should not be made to marry. -Music-
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