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Haunting photos capture the ‘dark side’ of forced marriages in Pakistan

Rida Shah, a self-taught concept based photo-manipulation artist from Islamabad, focuses on unveiling the “darker truths of the society” through her work.

world Updated: Jul 29, 2017 10:31 IST
Rida Shah,self-taught concept based photo-manipulation,Girls Not Brides
ridashah_photography/ Instagram

A Pakistani photographer has highlighted the ‘dark side’ of forced marriages in a new photo series aimed at educating people to eradicate the social evil.

Rida Shah, a self-taught concept based photo-manipulation artist from Islamabad, focuses on unveiling the “darker truths of the society” through her work.

“In this so called Islamic society of ours, it’s surprising how so many false and unfair practices are followed even by our most educated families. One of those is forcing your child to marry someone absolutely without their consent,” she wrote in a Facebook post.

She outlined some of the things parents say to convince their children into marriage. “Abhi nahi pasand toh kya hua? Ek baar nikkah kardo. Sab theek hojayega (So what if you don’t like them now? Everything will be alright once you get married).” “Bacha hai toh kya hua? Parhai likhayi shadi ke baad karlega (So what if he is a child? He can study after getting married).”

“I completely respect the fact that parents have the right to ‘suggest’ their children who they should marry and who they shouldn’t, but Islam does NOT give them the right to take this decision all by themselves, especially when their child isn’t willing to,” she added.

Incidents of forced marriages are high in Pakistan, where an estimated 21% of girls are married off before the age of 18, according to NGO Girls Not Brides.

Shah hoped that her work will raise awareness among families and start a conversation around the issues.

“I know it won’t end this practice, but at least it may convey the darker side of it and educate someone to take a step,” she said.

Here’re some of the photos .

First Published: Jul 29, 2017 10:31 IST