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Pion H

2014 (Narrative date)

In Tanzania, 4 out of 10 girls are married before their 18th birthday. A study by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimated that 37 percent of Tanzanian women aged 20−24 years were first married or in union before the age of 18, between 2000−2011. Early marriage remains a significant problem in Sub-Saharan Africa, with UNICEF predicting that half of the world’s child brides will be African by 2050.

Pion H. was 10-years-old and in her second year of primary school when her grandmother told her she was to undergo FGM and get married.

My grandmother told me, “You must stop school immediately. Get prepared to become a ‘real’ Maasai woman.” I started crying. I was afraid. I knew it was going to happen because they told my sister the same thing. She was also 10-yearsold when they cut her and forced her to marry a month later.

As told to researchers for Human Rights Watch