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AFGHANISTAN: Benazir, Afghanistan, “I was sold four times”

August 27, 2007 | IRIN new window By Charles Haviland

KABUL, 27 August 2007 (IRIN) - Thirty one-year-old Benazir - not her real name - was 12 when she was wedded to a 24-year-old man in Shinwaar District of Nangarhar Province, eastern Afghanistan. Benazir has been sold four times by men whom she considers her husbands - in a formally proscribed tradition known as women selling. She told IRIN of her extraordinary experiences.

"I had lived for more than nine years with my first husband and had four children from him when he decided to sell me to Qabayels [tribal groups living on the Pakistani side of the border]. He was a landlord who made money from his farms. I don't know how much I was sold for. I was sick for a long time and my husband was always complaining that I was ugly and unattractive.

"I could not leave my two-year-old daughter so he [the husband] also sold her with me while I was two months pregnant. We were sold to a man named Ziaullah [not his real name] who was always angry and who always beat his two other wives and children. He earned money by trafficking people to Arab countries.

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