Fourteen-year-old Reem, from Sanaa, was 11 years old when her father married her to her cousin, a man almost 21 years her senior. One day, Reem’s father dressed her in a niqab (the Islamic veil that covers the face, exposing only the eyes), and took her by car to Radda,150 kilometers southeast of Sanaa, to meet her soon-to-be husband. Against Reem’s will, a quick religious marriage ensued. Three days after she was married, her husband raped her. Reem attempted suicide by cutting her wrists with a razor. Her husband took her back to her father in Sanaa, and Reem then ran away to her mother (her parents are divorced). Reem’s mother escorted her to court in an attempt to get a divorce. The judge told her, “We don’t divorce little girls.” Reem replied, “But how come you allow little girls to get married?”
Because Aisha, that’s why.
In 1999 Yemen’s parliament, citing religious grounds, abolished article 15 of Yemen’s Personal Status Law, which set the minimum age for marriage for boys and girls at 15. Yemen currently has no minimum age for marriage.
On religious grounds. The grounds are: Mo married Aisha when she was a child, therefore it is anti-religious to make laws saying no one can marry a child that young. Laws that say that are implicitly saying that Mo did a wrong thing, and that would be anti-religious. Therefore little girls have to have their bodies and lives ruined, so that no one will ever think Mo did a wrong thing.