A 13-year-old girl was forced to marry a 48-year-old man in the Philippines. According to Mashable SE Asia, Maguindanao farmer Abdurkrzak Ampatuan married the 13-year-old on October 22, 2020. Pictures of the Islamic wedding began going viral causing outrage.
The 13-year-old is Ampatuan’s fifth wife and she will be taking care of his son of the same age from a previous marriage.
“I am very happy to meet her and to be able to spend the rest of my life with her,” he said. “She will take care of my son.”
He added that she will complete her studies and they will have a baby together when she turns 20-years-old.
As for the legality of the situation, in the Muslim majority province of Mindanao in the Philippines, it’s legal. When a boy or girl hits puberty they are able to wed.
The Philippines has one of the highest number of child marriages in the world with 726,000, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund. Around 15 percent of girls younger than 18 are married off while around 2 percent get married before they turn 15-years-old. To exasperate this situation, divorce is illegal in the Philippines.