These are the kind of stories that makes us re-think about the progress we have made. It’s hard to believe that there are incidents like these even today.
A 17-year-old girl from Sudan was sold by her family to rich businessman in exchange for 500 cows, 3 luxury cars, and $10,000. The transaction and the deal happened on Facebook. Apparently, five men participated in the auction after the girl’s photo was posted online.
The teenage girl was then married to the winning bidder. The girl has been described as a ‘Virgin bride’ or ‘the most expensive woman in South Sudan’.
As expected, the controversial marriage did receive some flak online. Plan International South Sudan country director George Otim remarked: “That a girl could be sold for marriage on the world’s biggest networking site… is beyond belief.”
Meanwhile, a spokesman from Facebook said that the social media firm immediately removed the post and user for violating community standards.
As the spokesperson pointed out: “Any form of human trafficking whether posts, pages, ads or groups that coordinate this activity are not allowed on Facebook.”
UNICEF report showed that many girls in Sudan get married before they reach 18 – the legal age for marriage in the country. Most of the families are forced to get their daughter’s married because of poverty.
While some people were happy that the post was taken down, others noted that it was up online for several days and eventually resulted to the young girl’s marriage.
Judy Gitau, an attorney from Equality Now, said: “Facebook has a responsibility on securing and protecting the rights of women and girls. They need to put sufficient resources into monitoring what is on their platform.”
What’s your take on this story?