Girl child Fawziya Abdullah Yuossuf was married to a 24 year old farmer working in Saudi Arabia when she was just 11. Ruled by tribal traditions child marriages are prevalent in Yemen being a very poor country girls are married off when they are not even 15, and Fawziya was just 11.
She got pregnant and the most horrifying thing was she suffered for three days the unbearable pain of child labour and finally lost the battle and died due to severe bleeding. Her child was also still born in the al-Zahara district hospital of Hoedieda province 140 miles of capital Sanaa.
Being the poorest country of the Arab World there are many reasons why girls are married off at such young age.
1) Lack of education and awareness.
2) As the poor parents receive hefty dowry they prefer to give their girl child to the highest offer.
3) As per tribal customs the infant girls and boys are promised in marriage to protect them from illicit relationships.
There is no official record of the number of child marriages conducted in Yemen and worse no record of the girls and their children dying during labour. Two years ago a very courageous Nujood Ali 10 went by herself to court to initiate separation proceedings against her husband who was in his 30’s She won her case.
The Yemeni parliament had passed a law to make 17 the minimum marriageable age for girls but some lawmakers are trying to kill the law by saying it is un-Islamic so even before it could be ratified by the president it was sent back to parliamentary Constitutional Committee for review.
The poor child must have gone through hell of pain before loosing the battle. May her soul rest in peace.