December 12, 2017
Meg Webster of UNE’s School of Social Work has written an article for HuffPost titled “Escaping Forced Marriage in the DRC to Pursue a Dream: Portrait of a Young Immigrant Congolese Woman.”
Webster interviewed “Asha,” a young woman who fled from her home in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). When she was 18, a group of family leaders came to Asha’s home and informed her that she was to marry a 55-year-old man whom she had never met. Though Congolese law states that both parties must consent to being married, human rights groups report that this rule is rarely enforced.
“You don’t have a choice, really,” Asha said. “If you try to refuse, that’s when the consequences come...”
Asha, who had begun her university studies in the DRC, worked with her parents to obtain a visa to the United States where she could continue taking college courses. She currently lives in Portland and is enrolled in a pre-engineering program.
“Success is a must for me,” says Asha. “I don’t have room to fail.”
Read the article on Huffpost.
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