Robena’s Story, Afghanistan

Robena’s story was kindly shared by our member CARE who supports Robena in Afghanistan. 

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, became a victim of her father’s crime.

She was forced to marry one of the men in the victim’s family, and they had a son together. When her son was only six-months-old, her husband died and Robena’s life turned miserable.

After a year passed, Robena’s husband’s family decided to marry her to her brother-in-law, a much older man that she did not want to marry. Robena was always crying and thinking about how she could escape from this family but could not see a way out. She decided to kill herself before the marriage to the old man could take place.

One day, a woman by the name of Sima came to her house. Sima was a member of the local widows association in Afghanistan that is supported by CARE. Sima asked Robena how her life was going since the death of her husband. Robena started crying and told her story to Sima. In turn, 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 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.

Find out more about CARE’s work to support girls vulnerable to child marriage.