Helen Clark commends Afgahni mothers for defending their daughters

Afghani mothers have been labelled "brave" by former Prime Minister Helen Clark for defending their daughters when it comes to child marriage. 

The UNDP Administrator has been in Afghanistan for her first visit, which coincides with International Women's Day. 

Ms Clark met with a mother of seven in her late twenties. Her husband was a drug user, her eight-year-old son's kidney had been removed and she was left to make a life-changing decision for one of her daughters. 

"She was under pressure to allow her 12-year-old daughter to be sold to in to marriage," Ms Clark said. 

"You can't get a situation much worse than that." 

The area has been gripped by a record drought for several months. It's forced families living in rural areas to seek refuge in tent cities where they can access food, shelter and medical aid. 

"I feel in a way the world has looked away from the incredible needs here and to see the human face of it, more than half the population living under the poverty line, is sobering," said Ms Clark. 

However, through hardship there are stories of optimism. 

A small market in Baghdis represents unprecedented social change for women in Afghanistan.It's the first ever market run by women. They're selling homemade goods and can make up to $260 a month.  

"You see hope in these things and you just hope they can be scaled up and to give people a chance," said Ms Clark. 



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