- Gender and Relationships
The Hunger Brides: How To Prevent Starvation
There was only one rain this year. Last year, the harvest of pearl millet, the main food for many living in remote areas of Niger, was plentiful. Ten acres yielded 150 bowl sized of it then, this year's harvest yielded only 17. Some farmers were able to produce 200 scoops last year, many of them have only 10 today. Many Nigerians living in the remote non-town\city areas have sunken stomachs not bloated ones. The pearl millet in good times rose to the height of 13 ft., now, they barely reach the waist of an 11 yr. old girl.
In many villages like Hawkantaki, mother nature can dictate human events and impact a family. In a good harvest, food is plenty, in bad times, there are hunger brides. These are girls, ages 12-15, that are sold, not for money, but food. In exchange for food for the girl's family, she must marry the man, usually 20+ years her elder. The parents look at it as one less mouth to feed and having their stomach more filled than before.
Usually, the thin girls, some with no breasts, get around $100-200 in a dowry. That's it. Sad.