jeudi 22 novembre 2012

Child marriage in Yemen, and risks to die for the child-bride in childbirth!!!

A 12-year-old Yemeni girl, who was forced into marriage, died during a painful childbirth that also killed her baby. Fawziya Ammodi struggled for three days in labour before dying of severe bleeding at a hospital on Friday. Although the cause of her death was lack of medical care, the real case was the lack of education in Yemen and the fact that child marriages keep happening. Born into an impoverished family she was forced to drop out of school and married off to a 24-year-old man last year. Child brides are commonplace in Yemen, especially in the Red Sea Coast where tribal customs hold sway. Hodeidah is the fourth largest city and an important port. More than half of all young Yemeni girls are married off before the age of 18 many times to older men, sometimes with more than one wife, according to a study by Sanaa University. The reasons vary. Sometimes, financially-strapped parents offer up their daughters for money, hefty dowries. The girls are no longer a financial or moral burden to them. And often parents will extract a promise from the husband to wait until the girl is older to consummate the marriage. When she becomes pregnant, the risks for her and her baby is to die. "Girls who give birth before the age of 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their 20s. The Yemeni child brides came to the forefront in 2008 with 10-year-old Nujood Ali who was pulled out of school and married, beaten and raped within weeks of the ceremony. To escape, she hailed a taxi, the first time in her life, to get across town to the central courthouse where she sat on a bench and demanded to see a judge. After a well-publicized trial, she was granted a divorce. The Yemeni parliament tried in February to pass a law setting the minimum marriage age at 17 but the measure has not succeed because many parliamentarians argued it violates sharia which does not stipulate a minimum age.

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