On a farm in Hyderabad, Pakistan, the women working the fields are paid less than one dollar a day — and many are deeply in debt to the landowner. One of the women, Ameri Kasha Kohli, couldn’t pay the $1,000 that the landowner said she owed him — so instead, he took her 14-year-old daughter Jeevti as a second wife. Despite reaching out to authorities, Kohli said that police wouldn’t even open an investigation.
“No one told me anything about my abducted daughter. We even went to the police and the court. But no one listened,” Kohli said in a video from the Associated Press.
According to a recent report, 1,000 Christian and Hindu girls in Pakistan, most underage, are taken from their families each year, converted to Islam, and married.
“There is a major problem of forced conversions,” explained Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani of the Pakistan Hindu Council. “So many immature girls, below the age of 18 mostly, have been kidnapped. After 15 days a (certificate of marriage) will be presented in court that the girl has of free will been converted and accepted Islam, and she has now been married.”
Despite a law being passed to ban forced conversions last month, experts say such charges remain problematic to prove. And Jeevti, who now calls herself Fatima, insists that her conversion — and her marriage — were voluntary.
“I have married of my own will and happiness, no one forced me. I married him because I wanted to,” she said.”I myself asked him that, as we are lovers, we should get married.”
Watch the video below: