FACT-CHECK: Did Afghan father actually sell his 9-year-old daughter as a sex slave for $2000?
Abdul Malik, a desperate Afghan father, lives with his family in the northwest province of Afghanistan.
According to media reports, several families in Afghanistan are forced to sell their daughters to afford food for their wives and other kids.
Story of 9-year-old Parwana Malik
Abdul Malik, a desperate Afghan father, lives with his family in the northwest province of Afghanistan. For years, they have been struggling to make ends meet. The father sold his 12-year-old daughter a few months ago to put food on the table. Now Abdul Malik is forced to sell another child, his 9-year-old daughter Parwana Malik, to a 55-year-old man for $2,200.
Speaking to a media outlet, Abdul Malik said:
My wife and I tried to borrow money from relatives and beg on the streets but could not come up with enough. We are eight family members. I have to sell to keep other family members alive.
Afghan News Agency Rejects the Report:
As reported on social media, the Afghan news agency Aamaj News tracked down the parents of the girl and found the news to be fabricated.
”Afghan News Agency (Aamaj News) found the parents of so-called child sex slave Parwana and they told that their daughter isn’t married to any old man and this was all staged and for some money ..shame on you CNN,” wrote the user, sharing the Afghan news source.
Afghan news agency (Aamaj news) found the parents of so called child sex slave parwana and they told that them that there daughter isn't married to any old man and this was all staged and for some money ..shame on you cnn https://t.co/L2fyIotgGs
— Aalyah☪️ (@Aalyah05204381) November 8, 2021
Why are daughters being sold?
Parwana Malik is just one name in the long list of daughters parents have sold to sustain other family members.
Following the Taliban’s swift takeover of the country, Afghanistan’s economy is heading towards extreme poverty. Kanni Wignaraja, United Nations’ Development Agency’s Asia-Pacific Director, said:
Within a year, the poverty rate in Afghanistan will hover at a whopping 97% or 98%. Afghanistan will pretty much face universal poverty by the middle of next year. That’s where we’re heading — it’s 97-98% no matter how you work these projections.
Recap of the Taliban Take Over
Taliban took over Afghanistan after President Joe Biden decided to withdraw US troops from the region after two decades spent trying to rid the country of extremists. In its takeover, the Taliban renamed the country the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, reverting to the same name used during the last time the regime held power, in 1996. The regime remained in power until 2001, after the US invaded Afghanistan.
After the US ousted the Taliban from power in 2001, Afghanistan made several developmental gains, including the doubling of per capita income and an increase in the average number of years of education.
Over the past two decades, Afghanistan has made significant economic gains that are now in danger of collapsing because of political instability. Afghanistan faces a crush on local banking because of the Taliban takeover. The pandemic only worsens that instability.
According to reports, the Biden administration froze nearly $10 billion in reserves in the country’s central bank to limit the Taliban’s resources. However, many believe that this move will harm Afghans more than the Taliban, evident from the heartbreaking daughter-selling culture.
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