A Remarkable Story
Almost three years ago, the event shook the entire country: an 11 year old student become pregnant! She has now given birth; the father of the child is a young Tajik named Habib.
Now 14 year old Valya Isayeva continues her studies in seventh grade, while bringing up little Amina.
"I study in the day, coming home at five. I do my homework, play with Amina and then I make supper." says Valya.
Habib now works in construction, and contributes to the upbringing of his daughter. He lives in a working hostel, but visits regularly. He plans to marry Valya as soon as it is legally possible.
Valya diligently works on her assignments.
The young parents with Amina as Valya's grandmother, Antonina Aleksandrova, looks on.
Little Amina is now 2 years and 2 months old.
- Komsomolskaya Pravda, 19th September 2007
Now, this story strikes me as remarkable not because of the young age at which this girl has become a mother, but rather, how this story has unfolded. I do not find a young mother particularly shocking - bear in mind that girls in times past would be married early on to far older men and would probably conceive before the age of 18.
In any other society, most men who impregnate a girl of that age (or any other age for that matter) outside marriage would probably either vanish completely, or cough some money for an abortion before deciding whether to leave or stay. Habib, on the other hand, has decided to act responsibly - by earning for his little family, and seeing them as much as time permits.
That the couple is probably Muslim, and, owing to their culture (especially in parts of the former Soviet Union), have primitive ways is beside the point, however.
For all our "civilised" ways in the West (and societies aping the West, i.e. Singapore), how many of us are willing to display similar maturity and responsibility in the face of such an event?