An 8 year-old Yemeni child bride, recently died on her wedding night from internal hemorrhaging. The girl was married to a man five times her age.
Arwa Othman is the head of Yemen House of Folklore and a prominent rights campaigner. He said the girl who is identified as Rawan, was married to a man 32 years older in early September 2013 in the town of Meedi in Hajjah province in the northwestern part of Yemen.
“On the wedding night and after intercourse, she suffered from bleeding and uterine rupture which caused her death,” Othman told Reuters. “They took her to a clinic but the medics couldn’t save her life.”
Othman also said that authorities had not taken any action against her husband or the girl’s family
However, a local official in the town of Haradh denied any such incident had taken place. He declined to be identified because he was not officially authorized to speak to the public.
But two residents of Meedi who were contacted by Reuters did confirm the incident. They said that the local tribal chiefs tried to cover it up when news first broke. They also warned a local journalist against publishing a story about the incident.
These atrocities against young girls have outraged groups all over the world who are working to stop this barbaric tradition. As nauseating as the custom of families marrying off young children to significantly older men is, it is prevalent in Yemen. Greater than a 25% of the females in Yemen are married before the are 15 years of age.
Groups all over the world are working to snuff out this archaic and disgusting practice, but it’s proving difficult. The impoverished country is gripped by the practice of selling off children to be married because poor families find themselves unable to say no to “bride-prices” that can be hundreds of dollars for their daughters.
A United Nations report released in January of 2013 uncovered the extent of Yemen’s poverty, it said that 10.5 million of Yemen’s 24 million population lacked adequate food supplies, and 13 million did not have a safe water source and basic sanitation.
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