Sentenced to Marriage at 16

Sentenced to Marriage at 16

Publication info


When Robena was 16 years old, her father killed a person, and gave Robena to the family he had hurt in order to compensate for the death. She, too, had become a victim of her father's crime. Robena was forced to marry one of the men in the victim's family, and they had a son together. When the baby was only 6 months old, her husband died. And Robena’s life turned miserable.

After a year passed, Robena's husband's family decided she would marry her brother-in-law, a much older man. Robena was horrified. She cried all the time and tried to think of a way to could escape from this family – but she could not see a way out. Finally, she decided to kill herself before the marriage to the old man could take place. Not long after Robena had made up her mind, a woman by the name of Sima visited the house. Sima was a member of the local widows’ association in Afghanistan that is supported by CARE, and was there to check on Robena.

Sima asked Robena how her life was going since the death of her husband. Robena started crying and told her whole story to Sima. Sima informed Robena about women's rights and vowed to help her escape her fate. Together, they thought of a possible solution: Robena would agree to marry her younger brother-in-law instead of the older one. They took the issue to the widows’ association, who supported Robena's right to not be forced into a marriage that she didn't desire.

Robena went home and informed her husband's family that she would agree to marriage but only if it was to her younger brother-in-law. After a few days of intervention from the widows’ association, the family accepted her proposal. Robena married her younger brother-in-law, and she says she now leads a happy life.


Keep reading:

Nine Years Old and Married
A Decision That Required Courage
Wedded to an Education
My Life Was Dark Before, But Now There Is Light 

CARE is helping girls in Afghanistan stay in school and out of marriage.