Child marriages in Yemen

Are you familiar with the country of Yemen?

It is an Arab country in Western Asia which occupies the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula.

Recently, an article was brought to my attention titled: “8 year-old Yemeni child dies at hands of 40-year-old husband on wedding night.”

When I read the headline, I knew that there was some form of sexual misconduct, but my gut reaction was complete disgust.

In Yemen, child marriage is extremely common. Over 50% of Yemen girls, under the age of 18, are married off, 14% of them before the age of 15. Families will often sell off their daughters due to debt and poverty. Daughters, essentially, are seen as an economic asset. On top of that, the older a husband is and the younger a daughter, the higher the amount of money the family gets.

These young girls are expected to fulfill the duties of a wife, including bearing children. However, they are so young that they don’t have the understand the ideas of child bearing or sexual intercourse. On top of that, they are more likely to suffer from illness because their body isn’t ready for such a change.

Children need time to grow up and learn before taking on adult responsibilities especially those that can cause harm to them because of their age.

In 2009, there was a law passed saying that the legal age for marriages was to be the age of 17. It was then repealed it because it went against Islamic beliefs!

I understand that religion can play a factor in this, but it is bringing harm to children, and something seriously needs to change.

Check out the video below to learn more.

Human Rights Watch

Story of a young girl

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