UPDATE: The Yemeni government recently announced that the new constitution will set the minimum age for marriage at 181. Although the constitution is far from perfect and has yet to be approved by other political actors within Yemen, this is an important building block in the effort to end Forced Child Marriage.
Aged 8, Rawan was sold by her parents, and forced into a marriage with a man five times her age. The injuries her young body sustained from her “wedding night” resulted in her death, and her story has sent shockwaves throughout the world.2
The most shocking thing about Rawan’s story? The fact that to many, her story is not shocking at all. Forced Child Marriage is a form of modern slavery, and in Yemen, there is no law which makes it illegal.
The Yemeni Government has the power to bring an end to Forced Marriage forever; the first step is to ban the marriage of anyone under the age of 18, protecting children from a life of domestic and sexual slavery.
We know that ending Forced Marriage everywhere poses big obstacles and yet, in the aftermath of Rawan’s death, and with the eyes of the world on Yemen, this may be one of few fleeting moments when we can create change. We’re not going to let down the millions of girls vulnerable to this form of modern slavery.
Forced Child Marriage is modern slavery and can be stopped. Call on the government of Yemen to ban Forced Child Marriage.
- http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/yemen/minimum-age-set-for-marriage-in-yemen-1.1445215 ↩
- http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/15/world/meast/yemen-child-bride/index.html ↩