It was reported that a young girl in Yemen had died after having sexual relations with a 40-year-old man who became her husband in an arranged marriage. The 8-year-old was identified as “Rawan” and died from torn genitals and severe bleeding in the northwest city of Hardh.
Some media reported that the practice of marrying young girls is widespread in Yemen and has attracted the attention of international rights groups seeking to pressure the government to outlaw child marriages.
Human Rights Watch reports that 14% of girls in Yemen are married before age 15, with 82% married before they are 18.
It is said that Yemen’s gripping poverty plays a role in hindering efforts to stamp out the practice, as poor families find themselves unable to say no to ‘bride-prices’ that can be hundreds of dollars for their daughters.
Tribal custom also plays a role, including the belief that a young bride can be shaped into an obedient wife, bear more children and be kept away from temptation. [Read more…]