You may have seen the news story that a grownup in Kenya has offered President Obama 50 cows, 70 sheep and 30 goats to wed his daughter Malia. The big problem with this? Malia is 16.
This isn’t a cute, charming story about quaint African courtship rituals. Especially when you consider the way CNN handled this story:
“People might say I am after the family’s money, which is not the case. My love is real,” he told The Nairobian newspaper.
Moreover, he adds, he’s been faithful to his beloved since he first became aware of her.
“I got interested in her in 2008,” he said. “As a matter of fact, I haven’t dated anyone since and promise to be faithful to her. I have shared this with my family and they are willing to help me raise the bride price.”
Keep in mind, in 2008 Malia Obama was 10 years old. This man offering livestock in exchange for a partner has been interested in her since she was a 10-year-old child and continues to be interested in her as a 16-year-old adolescent. CNN ends the article with the statement:
“Who says you can’t put a price on love?”
Love, mind you.
Considering child brides are illegal in Kenya, meaning there is specific legislation outlawing marriage for those under 18, many marriages are performed under Islamic law, which sets no age limit on marriages. CNN would also be wise to realize that according to girlsnotbrides.org, in a study in Kisumu, 33 percent of married girls surveyed were infected with HIV.
You may not be able to put a price on love, but you can certainly put a price on ending child marriage and encouraging young girls to attend school instead.