Samjhana's story was kindly shared by our member White Ribbon Alliance.
My grandmother was a child bride. Her experiences are representative of the many Nepalese women who are victims of child marriage.
When my grandmother joined her new extended family, her days began as early as 3 o’clock in the morning. She was responsible for all of the grinding work (using a traditional tool known as a dhiki/jato). She was also responsible for fetching water, carrying heavy loads of cow and buffalo dung to fertilize the fields, cutting fodder, washing clothes and dishes, sweeping and mopping, cooking for the entire family, among other tasks.
Married at such a young age, my grandmother was destined to suffer many hardships. At the tender age of seven she was unreasonably busy with all the household and agricultural work. To go to school and study was unimaginable for her, although her husband could go to school even after their marriage.
Married at such a young age, my grandmother was destined to suffer many hardships.Samjhana
In those days, my grandmother wanted to eat delicious food and wear pretty clothes. But she had to be satisfied with the little food that she was given. She used to feel very hungry.
When she was fourteen, my grandmother gave birth to her first child. The child died within a month. Her second child also died a few months after birth. After that she had several miscarriages, and between each pregnancy she was confined to the house and expected to do all the work mentioned earlier.
Today, my grandmother is 82 years old. She has five children (three sons and two daughters), as well as 14 grandchildren. Last year she underwent surgery for uterine prolapse, a condition from which she had suffered for two or three decades. Although she was suffering, she was unable to tell anyone, including her husband, because of lack of knowledge and confidence.
In the time it has taken to read this article 19 girls under the age of 18 have been married
Each year, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18
That is 23 girls every minute
Nearly 1 every 3 seconds