A 13-year-old child bride has been forced to marry a 48-year-old man and become his fifth wife in an Islamic ceremony in the Philippines. Friends and family attended to see the girl dressed in traditional white married in the town of Mamasapano in the Muslim-majority Maguindanao province. Groom Abdulrzak Ampatuan will make the girl look after his own children – some of whom are her age – before she has kids of her own.
Abdulrzak said: ‘I am happy to have found her and spend my days with her taking care of my children.’
The wedding began at the groom’s house where he was given a traditional sermon on how to become a good husband.The groom was then accompanied by wedding guests in a festive parade with drum bands playing as they walked to the child bride’s home. The couple were pictured sitting beside each other while guests smiled and laughed. The child allegedly said: ‘I am not afraid of him because he is nice to me. I am learning how to cook because I’m not good at it now. I want to make my husband happy.’
Three weeks after their wedding, Abdulzrak built a small house for the young bride where they stay together. He is working as a farmer while his new wife does the household chores and takes care of the man’s children by his elder wives. He claimed that he will not have children with the girl until after her 20th birthday and that he will be providing money for her schooling in the meantime.
Abdulrzak said: ‘I will pay for her school because I want her to get an education while waiting for the right time to have children.’ In the Muslim-majority Mindanao region, boys can marry from the age of 15, while girls can be married from the onset of puberty. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) data shows the country has the 12th highest number of child brides in the world at 726,000. Fifteen percent of girls are married before their 18th birthday and 2 percent are married before they turn 15. Girls are even more vulnerable because the Philippines is the only country in the world where divorce remains illegal.
This is how people reacted to this post:
Ellessandra Ellouisa – Its all about the money sadly. Whether the parents are being paid for marrying off their children, or their burden is lightened when someone else offers to take care of their children for them. Disgusting. If you want children, be prepared to work hard to provide for them.
Atarah Winter Snow – Home should be a safe haven and parents should be the one who’s protecting thier youngs poor child she dnt have any other option,be educated enough and you may find yourself someday..
Charmine Joy B. G – Its 2020 this tradition and law should be stopped! Im a filipino too but i dont agree with this! Poor child. Her parents needs to be educated
Noby Alvañiz-Servillõn Borromeo – To sacrifice freedom as means of surviving finacialy is no life at all. No child should ever have to deal with this nonsense, trandition or not. You cannot undo the sacrifice freedom as means of surviving finacialy is no life at all. No child should ever have to deal with this nonsense, trandition or not. You cannot undo the this will inflict on a child once she realize she never really had much of a childhood at all.
I will never understand how some parents think this ok.
Deepa Vaswani – It’s nothing to do with being Muslim. It’s not an Islamic so called ‘tradition’ to get married off early once the child hitsIt’s nothing to do with being Muslim. It’s not an Islamic so called ‘tradition’ to get married off early once the child hits puberty that is absurd. Most likely the family is poor and perhaps they are getting a good amount of money from the groom for letting their child marry him.
Malu Pangilinan Gregorio – It’s called child vassalage. Man pays the child’s parents and she becomes his slave until life It’s called child vassalage. Man pays the child’s parents and she becomes his slave until life. The parents should be criminally held liable. Are the Women and Children’s Protection laws not applicable to muslims just to give way to their traditions? We need to protect the children, sometimes even from their own selfish parents.
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This Article Was First Published on dailymail.co.uk