Reem Al Numery Makes the 2010 Time 100

yemen girl
Flickr photo by Ai@ce
Young Yemeni girl
Reem Al Numery, a girl from Yemen who, in 2008, was forced to marry her 30-year-old cousin when she was just 12, is one of the lucky ones. After her brave public protests and lots of international attention, she was finally granted a divorce.

She told US embassy officials that when she told her dad she didn't want to get married, he gagged her and tied her up. "While my hair was styled for the ceremony, I thought of ways to set fire to my wedding dress,” Reem told Embassy officials in an interview. After the wedding, she tried to kill herself twice.


In Yemen, a girl's education stops when she gets married, and she often becomes a mom at a very young age. If she survives. Girls who give birth before 15 are five times more likely to die from childbirth than women in their 20s.

Reem described to BBC reporters how her husband raped her: When she resisted sex, he choked and bit her and dragged her by the hair, overwhelming her by force.

Time magazine has included Reem Al Numery on its list of the 100 people who affect our world. Gloria Steinem writes that Reem showed "exceptional courage" in escaping an otherwise dangerous fate.

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