Girls Marry As Children

There are occasions when one wonders if this is the twenty first century or whether one is trapped in a version of medieval times. Turkey is in many ways a modern industrial state in which many females wander the streets dressed in the latest fashions as they go to work at their computers. But, a few hundred miles away in a small village a girl of thirteen is getting ready to become a wife, and shortly after to become a mother. Such is life for women in modern Turkey.

A committee of the Turkish Parliament, the Committee On The Equality of Oppressed Women and Men has been conducting hearings dealing with reports that many teenage girls in rural provinces of their nation are married and bearing children. Recent reports in one province discovered a group of girls, age thirteen to seventeen, appeared at a hospital in a pregnant condition. The committee is considering a proposal that would extend compulsory school until age 13 in order to protect these children.

Most young girls who wind up pregnant were married at a religious ceremony which views such nuptials as perfectly OK. Parents are poor and marrying off their daughter ensures the girl  will be economically OK. Of course, that does not mean she will be emotionally OK.