Denying girls equal access to education is but one of numerous harmful consequences of early marriage and childbearing that perpetuate a cycle of extreme poverty.  Sabah, a hardworking Cairo woman and devoted mother, told The Egyptian Gazette, “I sent my children to school until they reached the primary stage, but [now] they know how to read and write.  I succeeded in finding husbands for my daughters.”  Sabah’s genuinely held belief – that the best one can do for a girl child is to curtail her education and arrange her early marriage – is not uncommon in Cairo and around the world.  “Marriage is the security they aspire. It is not important for a girl to be properly educated as long as she knows how to prepare a delicious macaroni dish.”  READ MORE: Stories from the fish market, The Egyptian Gazette (August 2, 2011).

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