Combating Early Marriage in Yemen
Sara Al-Mahbshi, Sana’a, Yemen
She died at the age of fifteen giving birth; her baby girl was deprived for ever of her mother’s embrace.
Who now is going to feed that little girl? Who is going to do her hair when she goes to the school? Who is going to look at her with pride on her day of graduation? Who is going to help choose her dress when she becomes a bride?
In my country, Yemen, many people believe that early marriage is a religious duty – and it is certainly common practice. Although this tradition has started to change in Yemen, it's still a serious issue here; seven women die needlessly every day from the complications of pregnancy and childbirth in my country, and three of them are under the age of twenty. In all, a total of 2555 women die in childbirth each year.
There are several reasons behind early marriage in Yemen. For poor families consider it is a way to earn money. As the brides are very young, their fathers or brothers choose the groom offering the highest price - as if selling a product.
Secondly, the level of education and awareness in Yemen is still low. This means that girls often think of early marriage as an important tradition and a religious duty, and so they will marry young - even when their family is wealthy.
Yemen is one of the countries that still struggle with this old custom, and with harder work and increased awareness I believe it will completely vanish.
So hand in hand let's save women - because we make up half of society and we give birth to the other half.