My parents, separately, without ever having seen each other would whisper 'yes' into the telephone to the imam, in front of their family and friends, and be bound in holy matrimony.
We have to change the way girls are valued, so they are no longer seen as a burden, and they no longer feel that they have no control over their own lives.
Virginity was and is a prized trait. In Bangladesh, then and now, there is a cultural mindset that a young, untouched bride is a magical elixir for unruly men.
But along with education, there was another huge life goal in our household: marriage.