Afghan girl for marriage


“Wherever she is found, she will be killed,” are the words uttered by an Afghan man in the 30-minute documentary, To Kill a Sparrow, produced by Zohreh Soleimani. The man is speaking of his now 24-year-old daughter, Soheila, who fled her home in Kabul the night before she was to become the fourth wife of a man four times her age. Soheila’s father was practicing a custom known as baad, in which families betroth their daughters to settle family disputes. Despite Soheila’s absence at her arranged wedding, her family still considered her married.

Soheila sought refuge at Women for Afghan Women, the largest private organization in Afghanistan operating shelters and other facilities for women in crisis. Over the next four years, the lawyers of the organization appealed to the Supreme Court to grant her a divorce on the grounds that it was not legal. The divorce was eventually granted, but Soheila’s father still wants her killed. 

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