Thursday, September 12, 2013

Yemen: End Child Marriage

             In Yemen it is common for young girls to marry much older men. This seems irrational and relatively insane to most of those participating in Western culture—especially when an eight year old girl dies on her premature wedding night after being raped by her 40-some year old husband. In Yemen a marriage in which a young girl is married to a middle aged man is somewhat commonplace—the majority of girls in Yemen are married before they turn 18. The early age of marriages of young girls in Yemen has lead to less education for young women and is halting any progress women have the potential to make in Yemen.
This human rights issue taking place in Yemen is emphasized by a video available online through Human Rights Watch in which the viewer is able to see and hear the young women whom being married prematurely. Human Rights Watch interviewed young girls who were married and recorded the interviews. The girls being interviewed did not want to be married early but were forced to by male figures in their lives. The video really brings the issue of premature marriage in Yemen to life and emphasizes the ability of technology to bring attention to global issues.
            The premature marriage issue in Yemen is one of great concern. No one likes to see the rights of anyone being taken away and people are especially concerned with human rights issues when it comes to dealing with young children. It seems that the girls who are being married at a young age are having their innocence stolen from them—they are being physically and emotionally harmed in the process.
The fact that many young girls are being married to dangerous older men in Yemen indicates that Yemen is a male dominated country—if equal rights were given to men and women in Yemen it would be highly unlikely that an eight year old girl would be married to a 40-some year old man.  
            The internet is a great source to figure out about human rights issues like the one happening in Yemen. Many people are probably concerned for the girls being married at such a young age in Yemen—especially after seeing the video linked to the article; however, it is hard to take action against the human rights violations taking place in Yemen from America. It is also hard for the UN to take action against young marriages in Yemen as they have little power.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, this is the case in many countries in which woman are considered inferior. And, as you can see, it is all a horrible chain reaction - women don't get equal education, access to good jobs that can pay them well means that they are dependent on those with more education and money = the men. When a family has a daughter in these countries, she is often seen as a financial burden - she won't make money for the family so the only hope is to marry her to someone wealthy - an older man who sees her has his property. What if women could have good education and equal rights so they wouldn't have to depend on men this way? That seems to be the solution at the bottom of the issue.