Last week in Yemen, a 13-year old girl was married to a 23-year old in a family-arranged marriage. Four days later, she bled to death from severe injuries. Reports SF Gate:
The 13-year-old girl from Hajja province, northwest of the capital, died on April 2, four days after her marriage to a 23-year-old man, said Majed al-Madhaji, a spokesman for the Sisters Arab Forum for Human Rights. A medical report from al-Thawra hospital said she suffered a tear to her genitals and severe bleeding.
Authorities detained the husband.
The Yemeni rights group said the girl was married off in an agreement between two men to marry each other’s sisters to avoid having to pay expensive bride-prices. The group said that was a common arrangement in the deeply impoverished country.
Yemen’s gripping poverty plays a role in hindering efforts to stamp out the practice, as poor families find themselves unable to say no to bride-prices in the hundreds of dollars for their daughters.
Just in September, a 12-year old girl in an arranged marriage died of labor complications. While the problem of child marriages in Yemen received much recognition a few years ago when a 8-year went to court on her own accord and demanded a divorce from her husband (and got it), this case shouldn’t merely serve as a success story. It shoud be a reminder for all the other child brides, in Yemen and elsewhere, and how they can and should be supported and protected from this oppressive practice — before it costs them their lives.