According to various media sources, an eight-year-old Yemeni child bride died of internal bleeding on her wedding night back in 2013 after being forced to marry a 40-year-old man.
The child bride was identified only as Rawan, was killed in the tribal area of Hardh in northwestern Yemen.
Local and international social activists are calling for the groom, who is around 40 years old, and the girl’s family to be arrested so they can face justice.
The activists argue that arrests and severe penalties are the only things that will stop the horrific practice of marrying young girls to older men.
A Yemeni blogger named “Sad” was more sympathetic to the long-standing custom. He wrote: “Her family and her groom could have waited for some time before having this marriage. It was not fair at all and the marriage should not have happened even if some tribes believe that it is a good custom.”
Cultural experts note the practice of marrying young girls is widespread throughout Yemen and that women’s rights groups have been pressuring the government to ban these child marriages.
Yemen’s endemic poverty is a big part of the problem in efforts to stamp out the practice, as poor families simply cannot say no to “bride-prices” that can support their families for years for their daughters.
Close to 25% of females in Yemen marry before the age of 15, according to a 2010 government report
Cultural beliefs also play a role, such as that a young bride can be shaped into an obedient wife, be able to bear more children and be safely away from temptation.
In 2010, a 12-year-old Yemeni girl died after struggling for three days in labor to give birth. She had been married a little more than a year.
At one time, 15 was the minimum age for marriage in Yemen, but the Yemeni parliament changed the law in the 1990s, claiming parents had the right to decide when a daughter marries.
Source: The World Around Us
Photo: The World Around Us