Saturday, January 3, 2009

Are Children Marrying Too Young?

Anonymous the bane of the blogging world has done it again but this time for good and not evil. They paid for 8-year-old Nojoud's 30-year-old husband to divorce her.
Not from a civilised country but instead from the Yemen where this is an all too common occurrence. Feminist groups in Yemen are urging the Parliament to legally define a minimum marriage age.

A few months ago, Nojoud was an average 8-year-old girl from a poor family. Then Nojoud’s loving father decided to marry her off to a man more than three times her age. Overnight, Nojoud became a wife, enduring physical and sexual abuse for two months until she ran away with the help of her uncle and filed a court case against her father and her husband.

Lawyer Shatha Mohammed Nasser and Judge Abud Al-Khaleaq Ghowber, paid her way out of marriage with YR 100,000 from an anonymous donor in the Emirates.

“This was the first time a girl came to us for a divorce. We are going to do our best to push the parliament to change the marriage law,” said Judge Ghowber. Who is happy with a high divorce rate for under age girls.

“I am so happy to be free and I will go back to school and will never think of getting married again," Nojoud said joyfully. "It is a good feeling to be rid of my husband and his bad treatment.”

Nojoud with her lawyer in the court.

According to the International Center for Research on Women’s 2007 statistics, Yemen is one of 20 developing countries where early marriage is common. Nearly half of all Yemeni girls are married before the age of 18.

Most women have their first child immediately after their first menstruation cycle and are likely to have a child every 12 months during their reproductive lifespan. Yemen's fertility rate is extremely high, with an average 6.3 children per each woman, and the country also has some of the highest mother and infant mortality rates worldwide.

The Prophet Mohammad married a 9 year-old girl named Aisha when he was about 53 year-old. While OBB News understands that in less civilised cultures and religions such as Islam and Catholicism pedophilia is acceptable and protected but it is harmful to the children involved and the children that they give birth to. Nature should decide on when someone gets married and that is when they are phsyically and mentally prepared to do so and at their own free will.

Another divorce of an 8-year old girl to a 58 year old man has been turned down in a Saudi court as the judge said she is old enough to get married but not old enough to decide on a divorce.

"She doesn't know yet that she has been married," the lawyer said then of the girl who was about to begin her fourth year at primary school..

The father had agreed to marry off his daughter for an advance dowry of 30,000 riyals ($8,000), as the poor man was apparently facing financial problems

OBB News suggests getting a job? just an idea.

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