Samra Zafar, Toronto Life
In each Stories Issue, we collect stories from women around the world. These stories are authentic, raw, and unapologetic. They are emotional. They are stories not often told. We hope their stories of strength will spark necessary conversations about child marriage and, most importantly, change these practices for the betterment of women everywhere.
The Good Wife
"I was 16 when I was forced to marry a stranger and move from the United Arab Emirates to Canada. Over the next decade, I was isolated, humiliated and assaulted. The whole time, I was planning my escape."
He was 28, I was 13
"The man who I am going to marry is so ugly. He is fat and looks older than my father. I can’t stand the thought that he is going to touch me, that he will be my husband. I cry often and beg my mother and father not to force me. This ring that he has given me, I want to tear it off all the time. Every time I touch it, I think about how my life is going to be over. I stopped going to school in sixth grade because of the war. They bombed my school, and we moved. I’ve never returned to a classroom, but I miss everything about it. I can only think how unfair it is -- I’ve never asked for much in my life. I want there to be food on the table and I want to be able to go to school. But not even that is possible. I need someone who can save me from my family."
A 15-Year Old American Escaping Forced Marriage
"Naila Amin was an American teenager who wore pink velour suits and smoked cigarettes. She had a contagious, loud laugh, and envisioned herself as a police officer when she grew up. Fast forward four months, Naila found herself trapped as a 15-year-old wife in Pakistan. Ten days after her forced marriage, she rebelled by running for her life."
I was a child bride
"I want to spread the message that child marriage must be stopped and tell people about the consequences for young brides. I might have died on the day I gave birth. No one deserves to go through what I experienced. More fathers need to know this so they do not marry off their daughters early."
Inspired by South Asian traditions that naturally nourish skin in transparent and holistic ways, Yellow Beauty seeks to solve complicated problems with ingredients you can feel good about, while helping girls be girls. Yellow Beauty donates 10% of profits to Plan International Canada projects that work to help end child marriage.