Dunya, the child in the white dress

By Shwan Dizayee:

Dunya - tragic child bride, brutally murdered

Dunya – child bride, brutally murdered

Dunya, age 15, was a girl, a daughter, a child of Kurdistan; but unfortunately, at this young, vulnerable age she was also a wife. As I stare at her child photo and marriage day collage, I see no difference, just a natural pose opposed by an unnatural one which is accompanied by a stare that screams volumes, but is covered by mascara. On Friday 23rd May, the 15 year old’s body was found mutilated to an inhumane, horrific extent that is still subject to speculation and awaiting autopsy results. As we understand it, her husband, 30 years her senior, is a suspect who has since gone missing.

Watching her mother’s account on video, naturally she is angry and distraught at having lost her daughter, but what strikes me is that she’s adamant in calling for the perpetrator’s arrest, and rightly so. She calls for him to be found and handed over to the authorities. There is another issue here: the people expect the Government to initiate a response, whereas the Government acts as if the people should know better. This is not recent, it has been happening all too frequently. Just as I write this, news comes of a 16 year old girl setting herself on fire in the Erbil area of ‘Kurani Ainkawa.’

I soon realised there is a vast array of statistics and research material on the net regarding child marriages and abuse, specifically in the Kurdistan region, which means the awareness is there, the voice is there, but we are failing to take action.

Just today, whilst addressing the Parliament on economic affairs, the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) stressed the importance of finding the perpetrator and taking him to trial. Yet finding the perpetrator won’t do anything, if the source and cause of these ‘animalistic’ humans isn’t discovered and tackled, time will only produce many more Dunyas in similar situations. Where are the ‘Social Services?’ A government body responsible for child safety? These children need to understand that they are not alone; telephone hotlines need to be established and advertised and better education needs to be provided so these children who don’t know any better comprehend what is right, and what is legally and morally wrong. These parents who have been isolated from ‘civil society’ due to years of rural living and subsequent indoctrinate conditioning themselves need to be educated and enlightened. Family planning is a necessity; if a family cannot afford a living for themselves, without any child benefits, how on earth are they going to cater and fend for several children? It is much more than just passing a few lazy bills in Parliament that aim at ‘safeguarding’ under 18s. This has done anything but deter underage marriages.

Parents, your daughters are not a commodity that can be sold at any price, your daughters are priceless and, if you don’t think so, then I beg you refrain from reproducing and introducing an innocent child into a lifeless, nightmare of a living.

These atrocities and acts of menace are closer than you may think; we may pass them on a day to day basis without a second’s glance or inquisitive thought. Envision a hospital environment, today’s safe haven where society’s most entrusted are at work, then imagine a case whereby a two year old has contracted an STD, and when the mother is asked about her husband’s profession, she replies ‘he stays at home looking after our child’ and, when asked whether she has seen these symptoms before, she replies ‘me and my husband have this condition,’ and yet the doctor refuses to enlighten her about the cause, nor does he report this. Again, envision a society where the most common mode of transport is catching a taxi, and then imagine a taxi driver who only picks up specific people, driving around with some form of Oxytocin in his glove compartment. Yet these stories are only the tip of the iceberg. Society is to blame, me and you.

Tomorrow, Thursday 29th May 2014, at 09:30 (ERBIL), a mass protest is to be coordinated outside Parliament in Erbil (Hawler). This is a peaceful protest. The aim of this is to first and foremost, call for justice for our beautiful sister. It is also to attract the attention of our MPs and politicians to do something proactive and effective about this case, and to invest time and money into the above recommendations to prevent more atrocities from occurring. Let’s display our solidarity and defiance, as we have in the past as Kurdish people. (Please refrain from any violence as this will put other lives at risk and be extremely counterproductive). 

5 Responses to Dunya, the child in the white dress
  1. Lana Khoshnaw
    May 29, 2014 | 14:52

    What is this society we live in getting married to someone 30 years older this is not something to be proud of this is something to be ashamed of

    • runak
      May 29, 2014 | 21:23

      i agree with u wallah but what can we do very upseting

  2. Anymous
    June 2, 2014 | 15:16

    Just look at the mother! She hasn’t shed a tear or doesn’t act like she is grieving for her! She should be arrested first for selling their daughter at age 15!! Also is even her SECOND MARRIAGE! So she was even younger when she married first! 13 perhaps 14!! People wake up, this is called legal PEDOPHILIA!!!! whats wrong with them! She is a MOTHER and first of all A WOMEN how can she be so cruel at her own daughter!! so sorry for her and so ashamed that they are kurdish… just like me…

    • Delan Jaff
      June 3, 2014 | 22:14

      One of the most horrific news i have ever encountered, for such inhuman things to be done to someone who was innocent and had their whole life ahead of them sickens me. More needs to be done and we wont stop until kurdish womans and children’s rights are given.

  3. Ann
    October 30, 2014 | 01:34

    This is a fault of The Times.They should be saved.

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

Trackback URL https://kurdistantribune.com/dunya-child-white-dress/trackback/