Ten years old – and married
December 23, 2010 § Leave a comment
Having only recently discovered the brilliant World Pulse, it is a wealth of information – this is one story that struck me from it today. The young girl, Reem Al Numery, was married at 10 in Yemen, whose case became the focus of international media attention. She even has a Wikipedia page.
But what happened after the camera flashes stopped? According to this article, the media focus did not relate to practical help – although Yemen has raised the legal age of marriage at least, to 17, in the wake of the negative media focus, there are still many who oppose the shaky law, and its too late for the quarter of all women in the country married before the age of 15. As for Reem, she is struggling to afford transport to school, to secure an education. Hailed as an “activist against early marriage”, she is left poorer financially, in the poorest country in the Middle East.
“I am so frustrated,” she said. “I see girls who are able to study and able to speak English and I am not. I would like for someone to help me.”
And this is the girl who has been the centre of focus in the media. Imagine all the girls who are forced into marriage and don’t get the benefit of media focus
“It is not really marriage, it is rape” says Shada Nasser, the lawyer who represented both Reem and the little girl Arwa in this video – a good piece on another girl’s story of early marriage. Particularly interesting is the interview with the male doctor who helped Arwa escape her husband – but says that raising the legal age to 17 was a mistake.
“Islam determines the age of marriage to be when a girl is ready for intercourse” he says.
- Muslim Women Speak Out Against Child Marriage (humantrafficking.change.org)