An 8 year-old Yemeni child bride, a mere girl, recently died on her wedding night from internal hemorrhaging. She was married to a man five times her age. As disgusting as the tradition of marrying off children to much older men is, it is common practice in Yemen. More than a quarter of the female population are married before the age of 15.
8-year-old Yemeni child dies at hands of 40-year-old husband on wedding night.
The disturbing and disgusting incident mentioned in the message shared online since few months states that an 8 year old Yemeni girl died at the hands of her 40 year old husband on wedding night. It is said that the child died of sustained internal bleeding. It is very unfortunate that the story is a fact!
In September 2013, Social activists in Yemen reported that an eight-year-old child bride, identified only as Rawan, has died in the tribal area of Hardh in northwestern Yemen because of torn genitals and severe internal bleeding during her wedding night after she was forced to marry a man five times her age. Worse, the local officials and the child’s parents have tried to hide the cruel and saddening incident. The incident was reported in Kuwaiti daily Alwatan.kuwait.tt and received severe criticism from people around the world. A blogger Angry Man posted that the man was ‘an animal who deserved to be punished severely for his crime‘. Human rights organizations called for the arrest of the husband and the child’s parents who forced her into marriage at such a tender age.
The Child Marriage Issue
The practice of marrying young girls is widespread in Yemen and has been an accepted custom in many rural areas. Note that the incident discussed above is not the first of its kind. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund, in 2010, a 12 year old Yemeni bride died of internal bleeding following intercourse three days after the girl was married to an older man. A Social Affairs Ministry report in 2010 said more than a quarter of Yemen’s girls marry before age 15. Human Rights Watch organization reports that 82% are married before they are 18, and added that a number Kparamen Yemeni girls are deprived of school education as soon as they reach puberty.
Poverty plays a major role to stamp out the child marriage practice in Yemen, as poor families sell off their girls to older, wealthier men. These issues and the death cases have grabbed the attention of international rights groups who try to pressure the Yemen government to outlaw child marriages.
Child marriage has been an extremely controversial issue in Yemen — a country where the practice is legal. Unfortunately, not just in Yemen, there are many other countries in the world where the bad custom is still encouraged. One of the main reasons for this is currently there is no consistent established definition of a “child” that has been agreed upon worldwide.
In February 2009, Yemen created a law that set the minimum age for marriage at 17, but unfortunately, it was withdrawn after more conservative lawmakers called it un-Islamic. The common belief is that parents should decide when a daughter marries. Activist groups and politicians are still trying to change the child marriage law in Yemen; it can only stop these inhumane and shameless incidents and save the girl child.
Hoax or Fact:
Yemeni child bride, eight, dies of internal injuries on first night of forced marriage to groom five times her age
Girl, 8, dies from internal injuries after wedding night in Yemen
8-year-old Yemeni child dies at hands of 40-year-old husband on wedding night
Yemen minister on child marriage: Enough is enough