A child bride aged eight died in Yemen on her wedding night due to internal injuries. The injuries were the result of a sexual trauma by her husband. The human rights organizations call for the arrest of the man who did this to her, her husband-to-be, who is five times her age.
According to Al Nahar, Lebanon, this terrible death happened in the tribal area of Hardh in northwestern Yemen, at the border with Saudi Arabia. This event put even more stress to the already existing problem of forced child marriages in the Middle East.
A report from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says that between 2011 and 2020, over 140 million girls will become child brides. Moreover, of those 140 million girls who will be forced to marry before the age of eighteen, 50 million will be younger than fifteen.
According to some reports, more than a quarter of Yemen’s young girls are married before the age of fifteen. These girls do not have any access to education and health. What is even worse, the child brides are also commonly subjected to physical, emotional and sexual violence in their forced marriages.
One of the biggest problems is that at the moment, there is no consistent established definition of a ‘child’ that has been agreed upon worldwide. This leads to a variety of interpretations in different countries and little protection for the affected group. Some groups, including the HRC fight for establishing an age limit.
This organization published the 54-page report ‘How Come You Allow Little Girls to get Married?’, which documents the lifelong damage to girls who are being forced to marry at a young age.
The majority of these age-limit organizations agree that the legal age for marriage should be eighteen. In February 2009, in Yemen was made a law that set the minimum age for marriage to be 17. Sadly, some conservative lawmakers called this law un-Islamic and it was repealed as a result.