Following the precepts of the child rapist, warlord Mohamed…
Marriage under 18 is not illegal, although Somalia’s constitution prohibits it and the country is signed up to several international treaties promising to tackle it. In July 2014, the government signed a charter committing to end child marriage by 2020. But in August, the Somali parliament tabled a controversial bill that would allow a child to be married once they reached puberty, which can mean 10 years old. The sexual intercourse related crimes bill would also allow marriage if parents consented. The UN has called the bill “deeply flawed”.
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Fardowsa Salat Mohamed was 15 when her cousin asked her parents for her hand in marriage. Her father did not hesitate to say yes. When Mohamed objected, her father asked her to choose between “a curse and a blessing”.
“That was not a choice for me, I was basically forced,” she says. “No girl would ever choose to be cursed by her parents so I had to accept the marriage,”
Mohamed, who is from the town of Baidoa in south-central Somalia, was at school, dreaming of becoming a doctor. She had to drop everything and become a wife. Three years later, Mohamed was divorced with two children. She is now back living at her parents’ house.
According to the latest government figures, 34% of Somali girls are married before they reach 18, and 16% of them before their 15th birthday.