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Journeyman News : Yemen Child Marriage - Yemen

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Uploaded on Nov 9, 2009

November 2009

At ten years old, Arwa has already been married and divorced. In Yemen, where a quarter of women marry before theyre fifteen, her case has sparked a nationwide debate about child marriage.
He would ask me to bring him something and if it wasnt there, he would beat me, Arwa recalls. Her husband offered a generous dowry but before long, he became violent and abusive. Encouraged by her father, she ran away. We cannot find a good balance between the husband and the girl. It is not marriage, it is only rape! says her lawyer, who successfully campaigned for a new law to make seventeen the legal minimum age of marriage. Before Arwa's divorce, there was no protection for child brides, with the countrys influential religious conservatives opposed to change: Islam determines the age of marriage to be when the girl is ready for intercourse, not a specific age. Until the President ratifies the new law, it could still be reversed, leaving many Yemenite girls to suffer the same fate as Arwa.

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