Woman sells her six-year-old daughter to save her five children

A woman in Ghor province, who is the mother of six children, was forced to sell her six-year-old daughter in order to feed her family and pay back her debt.

The mother, who wants to be known only as Nazanin, said she sold her daughter to a man for 200,000 AFN (nearly $2,200) and said poverty drove her to make the difficult decision, especially as she had owed the man money for over a year.

Nazanin, 34, said the man bought her daughter as a bride for his son, who is also six years old.

“She and my other children would have starved to death if I didn’t make the move,” she said. “With the money, I paid my debts and bought some other provisions for my children but nothing is left now.”

One of Nazanin’s children at their home in Ghor.

Nazanin said selling her child had been the most difficult decision of her life and that she thinks she will probably have to sell her two-year-old daughter as well, if her financial situation does not improve.

“Sometimes, when my daughter comes home, I feel sorry for her. When she comes, she cries. I feel broken,” she added.

Despite the heartache, Nazanin said she is satisfied that her daughter is in the man’s house, especially as “she is given some food there.” The child, who lives with her new in-laws, also goes to school.

Nazanin’s children are between two years old and 19 years old and her husband, a drug addict, ran off and left the family a while back. Before the Taliban came into power, she would wash clothes in people’s homes for money. But, the work has dried up and she no longer has an income.

“Winter is here. We have neither firewood nor food. The house rent is 1,000 Afghani a month. At first, it was good. Some institutions gave us money and goods, which became our house rent and consumption. Since the Taliban came, we have had nothing,” she added.

Nazanin and her daughter.

She said that she has visited aid organizations many times to ask for help but no institution has so far responded to her pleas.

Nazanin wants national and international institutions to provide help to needy families during this winter so that aid will not be wasted and will reach those who need it the most.