7 Afghan girls have been sold for marriage this year. That’s 7 times this year.

By Shirley Ho, Rabia Ashraf, Azra Ghani and Aamir Syed

Updated Thursday, Nov. 14

An Afghan girl was sold for marriage on Tuesday, marking the seventh time since October that a woman has sold her underage daughter, a task that occurs on a regular basis in the country.

The girl was sold to her husband at age 8. She is now 14.

The figures come from reports by social media accounts and detailed reports about the couple by local media.

The plight of child brides has risen in prominence since a viral video was posted in 2016 showing an Afghan girl arranged to marry a 42-year-old man.

The Afghan media reported today that the married girl was eight years old.

That girl is now 10, according to social media sources and reports from local media.

Afghanistan has the highest rate of child marriage in the world, according to the United Nations Population Fund. More than 20 percent of girls in Afghanistan become child brides, which is more than 40 times the global average.

Among families from Hazara ethnic group, women face the greatest risk of child marriage, according to UN report.

This region is home to the Afghan man who married his 11-year-old daughter and that case has been widely reported in Afghanistan, according to social media sources and media reports.

The United Nations Population Fund reported that the parents of three child brides sold their daughters for marriage in the previous six months.

A lawmaker reportedly pushed for the government to set up a shelter for children for their marriages to counter the practice.

Some women’s rights activists pushed for the government to prohibit the practice but the parliament rejected the bill, according to social media sources and local media reports.

The government posted a number of posts in response to the situation.

The government of Afghanistan condemned child marriages and called for more educational services and assistance to parents.

The Afghan vice president, Lt. Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum, also issued a directive “to stop forced marriages of children and to support needy families in all provinces,” according to foreign media reports.

The website Save The Children said Afghan girls are 20 times more likely to marry than men. They rarely marry later in life, the website said.

Afghanistan’s government has set an age requirement of 18 for marriage.

Shirley Ho, Rabia Ashraf, Azra Ghani and Aamir Syed are Washington Post reporters in Kabul. They write in personal capacity.

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