Three-year-old Sunamwas engaged to her seven-year-old cousin Nieemin June, in a match made by their parents. Sunam's father committed her in marriage as a gift to his sister, Fahima, who does not have a daughter and desperately wants one.
Marriage between first cousins is common in Afghanistan because families believe it is better to know their in-laws well. The two families live in the same modest housing compound in Kabul.
"It's a very common problem. I know people in my own family who were engaged this way," said Orzala Ashraf, founder of Humanitarian Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghanistan. "The engagement happens before birth in some cases." [Quoted from Daily Mail]
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