8-Year-Old Child Bride Dies Tragically on Her Wedding Night

Horrifying 91

flowers in statue handIt seems incredible that this sort of thing still happens in our world. In Yemen an 8-year-old child bride died of multiple injuries after marrying a 40-year-old man. Now a Yemeni human rights minister, Hooria Mashhour, is calling for child marriage to be outlawed in the country. What happened to the girl, named Rawan, was especially horrible. But she's not the only young girl to be married off so young. "Many child marriages take place every year in Yemen. It's time to end this practice," Mashhour says. But there's a reason why child marriages are still happening in Yemen and elsewhere.

Back in 2009 a bill to raise the minimum age for marriage to 17 (and then 18) was defeated by ultra-conservatives who thought it violated their religious rights. If you can believe it, there's not even a clear definition of what makes a child in Yemen. We're used to the idea of childhood ending pretty much at the end of our teens, but that's not a universally-accepted notion.

Why would any parent marry off their child in the first place? I think that's what a lot of us wonder. How could you do that to your child? But some families face poverty that's so crippling, they feel their only option is to marry off their daughters, never mind her age. As for why a 40-year-old man would want an 8-year-old bride, well ... I think we all know there's no shortage of perversity in the world abroad and in our own backyards. Plus, a child bride is so much easier to control than some grown woman with a mind of her own, right? Sigh.

Even if a new minimum age for marriage is set, it's going to be hard to enforce. These child marriages often happen in far-flung rural areas where laws are not necessarily enforced. And anyway, even now there are people denying that Rawan died and trying to cover up the tragedy. (And keep in mind, Yemen is far from the only country where child marriages still happen.) Still, it's better than having no laws about child marriages at all. Hopefully all the international attention drawn to Rawan's horrific story will help. I hate to think it takes a human sacrifice to make this necessary change happen, but at least Rawan's death would not be in vain.

Why do you think child marriages still happen around the world?

 

Image via Elizabeth Haslam/Flickr

child abuse, death, human rights, in the news

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miche... micheledo

I'm guessing a lot has to do with poverty.


"According to the United Nations around half of Yemen's 24 million people lack sufficient food and access to safe water."


Marrying off your daughter at a very young age means that first of all, you have one less mouth to feed, and second, hopefully she will be cared for.


It's tragic and horrible.  And I don't think it should be legal.  But let's not forget that we are very privileged and well off in the States.  No matter how poor you think you are, you still have MUCH, MUCH more then 75% of the rest of the world.

nonmember avatar Asmah Sattar

Violates religious right? Im sorry, im muslim as well, and no where does it allow for men to marry such young children? Even further than that, him disrespecting that young female, ccorrection, his WIFE is forbidden in his religion. Im tired of people hiding under religion their fulfill their sick fantasies. Im tired of people using religion to hurt and kill others. No religion preaches this. Stop the nonsense.

Vashti Rice

I do believe it is wrong to do that to a child but there is nothing we can do to prevent it the world as we know it is  big shit hole and just getting worse


 

nonmember avatar Asmah Sattar

Violates religious right? Im sorry, im muslim as well, and no where does it allow for men to marry such young children? Even further than that, him disrespecting that young female, ccorrection, his WIFE is forbidden in his religion. Im tired of people hiding under religion their fulfill their sick fantasies. Im tired of people using religion to hurt and kill others. No religion preaches this. Stop the nonsense.

Cassady Karla

that is just disgusting, aswell as replusing. my god this world is full of sick people. dont care what, who, or where u r. this should never b legal. this is one of the things to why this world is falling apart.

nonmember avatar THasan

Asmah Sattar you said it best.

grous... grousseau

DISGUSTING AND PERVERTED

Angela Fickes

What i don't understand why have kids if you can't feed them then marry off your child after 8 years why your still having more kids and they say it's Violates religious rights if they stop this bull shit the men just don't know how to pull out or the women get on a pill or don't have sex at all.This problem can be taken care of the need a law like in some countries 1 child per family.I just think these sick old men like control over 8 yr old children it's sick in the US you be put in jail for years if you touch a child and that's the way it should be....

LuvDx LuvDx

My baby is only 8! This makes me sick, and sad

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