The husband says that he won't have kids with the teen until she turns 20 or more. Till then he would provide for her education.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on November 18, 2020. It has since been updated.
Not all kids are lucky enough to experience the joy of being a child. There are some who are being burdened with the responsibility of being wives, mothers, and housemakers at an age when they should be running around chasing their friends or cycling down the street while they make the atmosphere echo with their innocent and happy laughs.
A 13-year-old girl was forced to be the bride of a man who could be close to her father's age. In the Philippines, the child bride was made to marry a 48-year-old man and become his fifth wife. The shocking union that happened in the town of Mamasapano, in the Maguindanao province was attended by her family members, and the child was dressed in traditional white attire, reported The Daily Mail.
While the little girl's family decided her fate at such a young age when she can't even stand up for herself and her rights, the groom Abdulrzak Ampatuan had already made plans for his future with the child bride, who cannot be named. He made the decision of making the innocent teen take care of his kids, some of whom are as old as her, until she can have children of her own. He said, "I am happy to have found her and spend my days with her taking care of my children."
The wedding was held at the Abdulrzak's house where he was given a sermon about how to be a good husband, following which they headed to the child's home. There she was prepared to accept her new journey, unaware that her childhood had come to an end.
In a festive procession with a band following the groom, they reached their destination. The couple was made to sit next to each other while the relatives enjoyed the occasion as pictures were clicked. The child bride, who's probably grown up listening to pieces of advice on how to be a good wife said, "I am not afraid of him because he is nice to me. I am learning how to cook because I'm not good at it now. I want to make my husband happy."
The publication reported that three weeks after the wedding, the husband built a small house for his wife where they stay together. While Abdulrzak, who's a farmer, goes to work in the field, the 13-year-old does all the household chores and takes care of her husband's children, whom he shares with his other wives.
The 48-year-old claims that he won't have children with the child bride until she turns 20. In the meantime, he would provide the money she needs for her education. "I will pay for her school," the husband said and continued, "because I want her to get an education while waiting for the right time to have children."
The Mirror reported that it's not unusual to witness a child marriage in the Mindanao region because the boys of Mindanao are eligible to marry as soon as they turn 15. The girls, on the other hand, can be married by their parents from the time they hit puberty.
This practice should be immediately stopped and the gentleman involved be put behind the bars at least for ten years.— Sibghatullah@Sibgha (@Sibghat61757476) November 16, 2020
According to the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) data, the Philippines stands 12th in the list of the highest number of child brides in the world at 726,000. Since no strict rules are followed regarding the legal age of marriage of children in the country, 15% of girls are made to tie the knot before 18 years of age and 2% before they even turn 15.
It's very difficult for females of the country to get out of a marriage that they don't want to be a part of because the Philippines is the only place in the world where divorce is still illegal.