Of Cabbages and Kings

September 10, 2008

The Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints

Filed under: Across the Universe, Law — Tags: , , , , , — Chinmayi @ 9:24 pm

I was horrified when I read this article about a woman who had been married when she was fourteen and systematically raped by her husband after that. At least the man responsible (the head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints) was convicted.

In India of course, putting a stop to the practice of child marriage still remains far off. Although most reports do talk of measures against child marriage, few seem to discuss the trauma that the child-bride must experience if she was sent off to live with (and work like a slave for) a strange family and to be raped regularly amongst the strangers. There are parts of the country where (women made scarce thanks to decades of regular female foeticide by the community) a woman who marries into a family is expected to be a sex slave for all the males of the family. Marital rape has not yet been recognised as a crime in India. Punishments for those who effect child marriages are hardly a deterrent and the marriages are usually valid in the eyes of the law.

Imagine where that leaves an Indian girl with no education or exposure to the world, who has been sent off to be raped for the rest of her life. The little that the law might offer her, she will not know about.

Update: A detailed article on how scarcity of girls has led to polyandry and desperate measures taken to procure wives. Note that this has still not led to women being treated any better. ( via Barbara Raisbeck who has also posted on the subject).



  1. I’m a rich man and have 3 wives who are 10 years old, I have taken my wives out of poverty and put them into school and told them they can be lawyers or doctors or anything they want.
    I have not had intercourse with any of them. My law is Islam, you can think what you want, when Cathlolic Priest are having sex with your sons, how barbaric. Under Islamic law they would be put to death. You allow homosexuality how barbaric, but your law lets this happen. Where is the UN? We are fallowing our bible the Quran. Try fallowing your bible before you criticize others for fallowing their religion. We take action against men for their wrong doings. If you have sex with your wife before she reached puberty.
    Think about Islamic law, what better way to help children out of poverty and their families than rich men marrying these girls.
    Islam has the solution to world poverty and NGO’s and other countries are stopping Mohammad’s(PBUH) teachings.
    If you want peace in the world respect Islam and worry more about your own countries problems. The USA has more child prostitutes than any country in the world. Where’s the UN?
    What a babaric country.

    Comment by Dr.Kevin — September 27, 2008 @ 1:49 am

  2. I’m a little confused about how this comment landed here. To clarify – the United States is not “my country” and I do not find homosexuality in the least barbaric. I’m afraid I can’t say the same for marrying underage children off to older men before the children are old enough to understand the implications of marriage, let alone consent to it.
    Islam is very progressive if you take it without all the strange interpretations lent to it over the years. Since consent is such a big deal in Islamic law, I doubt that the Koran condones child marriage. And I am sure that there are other solutions to world poverty than marriage against girls’ wills (not to mention that such a solution does not address the plight of poor boys).
    That said, it is nice to see someone who has as much power over his wives as you do and who uses it for their welfare instead of abusing it. You must be a good man. God bless you.

    Comment by Maya — September 27, 2008 @ 8:57 am

  3. Present time, child marriage is a curse in the global society. Child marriage is a violation of human rights. In most cases young girls get married off to significantly older men when they are still children. Child marriages must be viewed within a context of force and coercion, involving pressure and emotional blackmail, and children that lack the choice or capacity to give their full consent. Child marriage must therefore always be considered forced marriage because valid consent is absent – and often considered unnecessary. Child marriage is common practice in India, Niger, Bangladesh, Pakistan Guinea, Burkina Faso, Africa and Nepal,where mostly girls are married below the age of 18.
    Child marriage has its own worse effect on the young girls, society, her children and health. Young girls who get married will most likely be forced into having sexual intercourse with their, usually much older, husbands. This has severe negative health consequences as the girl is often not psychologically, physically and sexually mature. Child brides are likely to become pregnant at an early age and there is a strong correlation between the age of a mother and maternal mortality and morbidity. Girls aged 11-13 are five times more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than women aged 20-24 and girls aged 15-19 are
    twice as likely to die.

    The above is an extract from Arun Kumar essay “Child Marriage as an Human Rights Issue”. This essay was ranked among the top ten essay in Human Rights Defence’s Essay competition 2008. If you would like to read more, visit: http://www.humanrightsdefence.org

    Yours sincerely,

    Tomas Eric Nordlander

    Comment by Tomas Eric Nordlander — October 19, 2008 @ 6:25 pm

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