9 year old girl forced to marry 78 year old man
Child marriage, FGM and the ritual of “beading” are illegal in Kenya since 2011.
But cultural traditions are hard to break among the Samburu tribe.
Girls are bought for sex by a member of the same clan before they are married off. The more beads she has around her neck, the higher the price. Some of the girls are just six years old when they are “beaded”.
Once girls reach the age of marriage they will marry someone from a different clan.
“When I was about nine years old, my father married me off to an old man who was 78 years old,” Younis explains. “I went to his home and I stayed with him one week.
He told me that I will be a wife but I was just innocent, I wanted to come to school. But that man wanted me to be a third wife. I told him, I will not be your wife, and he caned me.”
Angela, another girls, talks about the threat of FGM:
“When I was nine years old, my father wanted me to be circumcised,” she says.
“I ran away to the forest.”
She had seen the blood and heard the screams and did everything she could to avoid meeting the same fate.
Both girls were helped by Josephine Kulea, a Sabmuru woman who is fighting the very Samburu cultural traditions she grew up with.
She tries to save the young girls from the ritual of beading, from early marriage and from FGM and to enable them to go to school.
To improve the living conditions of those young Samburu girls and all African girls who are in danger, we have to work continuously on educating them and everyone in their community.
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