Friday, April 9, 2010

Another Yemeni child bride dies

A 13-year-old Yemeni girl died three days after marrying a man twice her age, due to internal bleeding following intercourse, a Yemeni human rights group and UNICEF said.The girl's death comes amid ongoing debate on whether to set a minimum age for brides in Yemen, where human rights groups say one in every three girls is married before the age of 18. Elham Mahdi Shoi died in the west of the Arab state earlier this month, said Sisters Arab Forum (SAF).

Sigrid Kaag, regional director for UNICEF, said in a statement that the United Nations child agency was "dismayed by the death of yet another child bride in Yemen."
In September a 12-year-old Yemeni girl, who was forced into marriage, died during a difficult delivery in which her baby also died. The Yemeni Organisation for Childhood Protection (Seyaj) said that the child, Fawziya Abdullah Youssef, died on Friday September 11 in western Yemen.

An 11 year old Yemeni child bride, Nujood Ali (picture), was luckier Her case was thrust into the spotlight after it was reported by a Yemeni newspaper and a French journalist wrote her memoir, which was published in March. In it Nujood tells how at age nine she was forced to marry a man three times her age. He raped and beat her. Two years ago she made Yemeni history by going to the court all by herself and getting a divorce.

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