Oct 6 2010
Reem al Numeri is 14-years-old and recently divorced. She was 11 when she says her father forced her to marry a cousin more than twice her age.
CNN Reem says she has been stigmatized by her divorce and now lives the life of an outcast. Without a husband or father to support her, she cannot attend school.
Her story has echoes of Nujood Ali — the Yemeni girl whose story sparked an international outrage that many thought would force change in the country. But a bill to outlaw child marriages got blocked and the practice continues. On Saturday, Yemen’s parliament will look again at child marriage.
Reem’s desperate pleas to stay a child fell on deaf ears as her father forced her to marry a 32-year-old cousin. “He said you need to go into the room where the judge is and tell him you agree to the marriage,” Reem said. “I said I won’t go in there – he took out his dagger and said he’d cut me in half if I didn’t go in there and agree.”
Fawziya Ammodi, A 12-year-old Yemeni girl, who was forced into marriage, died during a painful childbirth that also killed her baby.
CNNFawziya Ammodi struggled for three days in labor, before dying of severe bleeding at a hospital on Friday, said the Seyaj Organization for the Protection of Children.
Born into an impoverished family in Hodeidah, Fawziya was forced to drop out of school and married off to a 24-year-old man last year, al-Qureshi said. More than half of all young Yemeni girls are married off before the age of 18 — many times to older men, some with more than one wife. Financially-strapped parents often offer up their daughters for hefty dowries.
The Yemeni parliament tried in February to pass a law, setting the minimum marriage age at 17. But the measure has not reached the president because many parliamentarians argued it violates sharia, or Islamic law, which does not stipulate a minimum age.