Yemen: Child brides, Too young to wed

Publication Date: 
May 24, 2011
National Geographic
Yemeni child brides (Photo: National Geographic)

Because the wedding was illegal and a secret, except to the invited guests, and because marriage rites in Rajasthan are often conducted late at night, it was well into the afternoon before the three girl brides in this dry farm settlement in the north of India began to prepare themselves for their sacred vows. They squatted side by side on the dirt, a crowd of village women holding sari cloth around them as a makeshift curtain, and poured soapy water from a metal pan over their heads.

Yemen: Communities Unite Against Child Marriage

Publication Date: 
February 11, 2011
Two community educators prepare for a training session on the safe age of marriage.

Two community educators prepare for a training session on the safe age of marriage. Twenty men and 20 women were selected from a group of religious leaders, nurse midwives, and civic leaders. (Photo: Basic Health Services Project) 

Yemen: Women of the Revolts are Catalysts for Change

Publication Date: 
March 8, 2011
Gulf News
Tawakul Karman (centre) is president of Yemen’s Women Journalists Without Chains and a member of the Islamist opposition party.

Representing all age groups and various backgrounds, they have proved to be the catalysts for change.

Dubai: The words of a mother whose son was killed by the Tunisian police in Al Qasreen area last December still ring in the ears of Hedia Belhaj Al Sebai.

"I have given my son as a martyr to Tunisia, and I still have four more sons whom I am also willing to sacrifice for the sake of my country," said the mother after her son was shot dead by the police during a protest, according to Hedia, a woman activist in her late 40s.

Yemen: Child bride gets divorce

Publication Date: 
June 8, 2010
Photo: Annasofie Flamand/IRIN

SANAA, 28 March 2010 (IRIN) - Throngs of journalists pushed forward to get a picture of 12-year-old Sally al-Sabahi as she signed her divorce papers in the Yemeni capital on 27 March. As she dipped her thumb in dark ink and pressed it next to her name on an official document, she became Yemen’s fourth child bride divorcee.

Yemen: Islamic clerics in Yemen oppose child bride ban

Publication Date: 
March 22, 2010
The Star
Photo: AP

SAN’A, YEMEN—Some of Yemen's most influential Islamic leaders, including one the U.S. says mentored Osama bin Laden, have declared supporters of a ban on child brides to be apostates.

Yemen's Child Bride Backlash

Publication Date: 
April 30, 2010
Foreign Policy
Child brides in Yemen

After a 13-year-old girl's death, the conservative Islamists are retrenching -- with some bizarre, yet somehow effective, arguments.

The sad case of Elham Assi, a 13-year old Yemeni girl who died from internal hemorrhaging after being raped by her 23-year-old husband, has certainly sparked conversation in Yemen over the longstanding practice of child marriage. But the conversations -- taking place everywhere from Sanaa kitchens to the parliament building -- aren't exactly what you'd expect.

Instead of addressing the question of children's rights in a country where a quarter of all girls are married before they're 15 and half before they're 18, some Yemenis are treating Elham Assi's death as a rallying point against the so-called imposition of a Western agenda. Instead of catalyzing protective legislation for children in Yemen, as the tragic 1911 did for industrial laborers in the United States, her death may actually make it more likely that others will share her fate.

Yemen: Child forced into marriage dies

Credit: Mohammed al Qadhi / The National

Mohammed al Qadhi, Foreign Correspondent

SANA’A // Elham Mahdi al Assi, a 13-year-old girl, died from severe haemorrhaging and the rupturing of internal organs as a result of sexual intercourse, just five days after she was married.

Yemen: Islamic Clerics Oppose Child Bride Ban - Government to Decide

Photo: AP

Yemeni women hold up the Quran and Arabic placard reading "yes to the legal rights of the Muslim woman" as they take part in a protest outside the parliament in San'a, Sunday, March 21, 2010.

Yemeni women face violence and discrimination

Amnesty International Press release
25 November 2009