All eyes are on Yemen as local leadership revisits overwhelming pressure to pass and legally uphold child bride minimum age laws. In the shadow of the death of an 8 year-old child bride who died on her wedding night from internal injuries caused by sexual trauma from her 40 year old husband, Yemen’s Prime Minister Mohammed Basindawa says investigations will be carried out and anyone responsible for the act will be brought to justice.
Despite some Yemeni officials are denying the allegations about the horrendous act, several locals from the town of Meedi, where the husband resides, confirmed that the marriage was arranged and took place to ensure tribal longevity.
The EU’s Foreign Policy Chief, Baroness Catherine Ashton, commented on the issue.
“I urge the Yemeni authorities to investigate this case without delay and to prosecute all those responsible for this crime,” she added.
“I call on the Yemeni government to abide by its obligations under international law, including the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which Yemen is a member, and to immediately reinstate legislation setting a minimum age for marriage, in line with international norms, to prohibit such abuse of children.”
Yemeni Prime Minister Mohammed Salem Basindwa’s aide responded with assurance that the government was “dealing seriously” with the allegations.
Based on a Unicef report released this year, supporting statistics are being used to raise the case that a minimum child marriage law should be in effect and acknowledged worldwide.
- “An estimated 14 million adolescents between 15 and 19 give birth each year. Girls in this age group are twice as likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth as women in their twenties. Globally, 36 per cent of women aged 20–24 were married or in union before they reached 18 years of age.”
It is expected that human rights groups in the region will continue to push for age limits as this investigation evolves.