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Forced Underage Marriages Continue in Gaza

Forced marriages of teenage Palestinian girls in Gaza remain frequent, despite laws prohibiting the marriage of those under 17.
Palestinian grooms hold copies of the Koran during a mass wedding for 500 couples, funded by a local charitable organisation and in co-ordination with Hamas, in Gaza City March 8, 2012. REUTERS/ Suhaib Salem (GAZA - Tags: SOCIETY) - RTR2Z1WC
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Sitting alone in her gloomy room, 17-year-old Mariam recalled the year and a half she spent at the house of her husband, whom she was forced to marry when she was 15 to escape poverty.

As Mariam gazed at the small doll in her hands, suddenly her mind was flooded with memories in which she was continuously beaten and verbally abused in the house of her husband. Her father’s voice, however, interrupted this chain of memories.

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