8 year-old Nojoud Muhammed Nasser went to court in Yemen last month to ask for a divorce from her 30 year-old husband. Nojud said, “Whenever I wanted to play in the yard he beat me and asked me to go to the bedroom with him. This lasted for two months. He was too tough with me, and whenever I asked him for mercy, he beat me and slapped me and then used me. I just want to have a respectful life and divorce him.” Her husband, Hamed Thabet (pictured), is now in jail –Yemen Times.
In the rural areas of Yemen women get married when they are 12 or 13.
Over half of women who marry in Yemen are under 15 years of age, said a field study conducted by Yemen’s Women and Development Study Centre, which is affiliated with the University of Sanaa.
Advertisement - story continues below
According to the study which was cited in the Yemen Times newspaper, the rate of child marriage among females in Yemen reached 52 percent, compared to less than seven percent among males.
On top of that, in rural parts of Yemen, girls usually get married at an average age of 12 to 13 years old.
The parliament in Yemen is reportedly working to raise the minimum marriageable age, which currently stands at 15 years old and so far there is no punishment for those families who allow their daughters to marry under this age.
“Recently the case of early marriage in Yemen has come to light, especially after the divorce of a little girl last month,” said Amatalrazaq Hummad, Yemen’s Minister of Social Affairs, in an interview with the Qatari daily Al-Watan.