She wants other parents to rethink marrying off their young daughters.
Benesh is a child bride who was married at the age of 11 in Afghanistan. Unfortunately she is not alone in becoming a wife while still a child.
Over one third of girls in the developing world are married before their 18th birthday.
Benesh was 11 when she found out that her father had sold her for $3,000, but she didn’t know what it meant to be married. “I thought I was going to a fun picnic. That’s when I was told, ‘you are married now, and this is your husband. You won’t be seeing your family anymore’.
“I was terrified and filled with anguish. I kept crying and crying. Other children in my new family kept trying to play games with me to try to distract me and, I think, to try to make me feel more comfortable.”
Now 14-years-old, Benesh is pregnant with her second child and being cared for at a World Vision mobile health unit, while also learning about contraception and the healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies.
“If I saw my family again today, I would tell them that they shouldn’t have married me off,” she says.”Girls my age should not be married. We should we encouraged to stay in school and get a good education. I am illiterate.
“I often see other girls my age still going to school, but I can only watch, I wish I could go to school too. I miss my friends. I miss learning new things, doing maths, becoming better at different subjects, and playing at the lunchbreak.
“Now, that part of my life is over. I don’t want this life for my children. It’s not fair.”
Benesh hasn’t had any contact with her family for three years. If Benesh gives birth to a girl, she wants her daughter to be educated and have a chance for a better life than she has.
In Afghanistan, child marriage is a widely accepted cultural tradition, with over a third of girls in the developing world being married before their 18th birthday.