Rubina: Hope for Her Daughter

Rubina and her dauther play with a guitar. Photo: Abu Abdullah/Oxfam
Rubina and her dauther play with a guitar. Photo: Abu Abdullah/Oxfam

"You can’t change the past, but you can change the future." – Rubina

Rubina has been through a lot in her 18 years of life. In fact, still not much more than a child herself, she’s already been married for five years and has a 3-year old daughter, Jim.

"I was married when I was 13 years old and forced to quit school. I loved going to school to learn and see all my friends. But once I was married it was over, I had to stay at home."

"I was married when I was 13 years old and forced to quit school. I loved going to school to learn and see all my friends. But once I was married it was over, I had to stay at home." – Rubina

But thanks to the community groups Rubina, her brother and mother attend – supported by you through Oxfam’s Creating Spaces program – they realize they have the power to stop the tradition of child marriage and give young girls hope for the future.

Rubina’s mom, Lovely, says, "I feel really bad about marrying my daughter as a child. I wish I hadn’t. But I did not know. It was just the way that things were. But it ends now. No more child marriage. Now I know that mothers need to stand up for their daughters."

Rubina embraces her brother, Faridul and mother, Lovely. Photo: Abu Adbullah/Oxfam
Rubina embraces her brother, Faridul and mother, Lovely. Photo: Abu Adbullah/Oxfam

"I was only a child when my sister was forced to marry. I was too young and powerless to stop her marriage. I just stood by and watched it happen. I have promised my sister and myself that I will not stand by and let any child marriages happen." – Faridul

Rubina’s brother, Faridul, is a wonderful example of how important it is to involve young men in the process of challenging oppressive traditions. He says, "I was only a child when my sister was forced to marry. I was too young and powerless to stop her marriage. I just stood by and watched it happen. I have promised my sister and myself that I will not stand by and let any child marriages happen."

Rubina’s husband has even started attending one of the community groups, which is helping him become a better parent.

Now armed with confidence, Rubina says "It will be different for my daughter Jim. I will do everything I can to make sure that she stays in school and gets an education."