Yemeni Child Bride Dies From Internal Bleeding
The United Nations Childrens Fund reports that a 12-year-old Yemeni child bride has died from internal bleeding, resulting from intercourse, three days after her marriage to a man at least twice her age.
Amal Basha, chairwoman of the Sisters Arab Forum for Human Rights, a Yemeni human rights group, identified the girl Friday as Elham Mahdi.
According to Basha, Elham, who live in Yemen’s Hajjah province, was married on March 29 and died three days later.
The child’s death is the latest in a series of child marriage cases in Yemen where there is no minimum age for marriage.
Frustrated by the recent revelation, a Yemeni government official called the case “a stark reminder that the practice of underage marriage must come to an end.”
“The government has been working tirelessly to cement the minimum marriage age but conservative parliamentarians have stood against it,” said the official, who is not authorized to speak to the media. “Members of the conservative block need to step up to the responsibility of protecting the rights and freedoms of the young. NGOs must continue campaigning to shed the light on this unfortunate practice.”
In September, 12-year-old Fawziya Ammodi, who was forced into marriage, died along with her baby during a painful childbirth.
Ammodi struggled for three days in labor, before dying of severe bleeding at a hospital on Friday, said the Seyaj Organization for the Protection of Children. Read more here:
The harsh reality of Yemeni child brides made headlines in 2008 when 10-year-old Nujood Ali was pulled out of school and forced into marriage. Her husband beat and raped her within weeks of the ceremony in spite of promising her parents he would wait till Nujood was older to consummate the marriage.
In an act of bravery, Nujood hailed a taxi — the first time in her life — to the courthouse where she sat on a bench and demanded to see a judge.
After a well-publicized trial, she was granted a divorce.
View video of Nujood’s story below: