Search

 

Cablegate: From Yemen, Another Tale of Woe: 12-Year-Old Child

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHYN #1678 2581345
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 151345Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY SANAA
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 2772

UNCLAS SANAA 001678

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

FOR NEA/ARP AMACDONALD, DRL JBARGHOUT AND MEPI KBARTELS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PHUM SOCI YM
SUBJECT: FROM YEMEN, ANOTHER TALE OF WOE: 12-YEAR-OLD CHILD
BRIDE DIES IN LABOR

REF: SANAA 314

1. (SBU) A 12-year-old girl died on September 11 after three
days of painful labor in Hudeidah governorate. The girl,
Fawzia Abdullah Yousef, was married to a 24-year-old laborer
at the age of 11. Her case became public when a local human
rights worker from the Seyaj organization for child rights
came across her by chance at the local hospital in al-Zahra
district. Early marriage is prevalent across Yemen, where,
according to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, more
than one-quarter of girls are married before age 15; many,
like famous child bride Nujood Ali, are married as young as
age eight. Despite the well-known detrimental health and
social effects of early marriage, it continues to be a
widespread and legal practice across Yemen, but especially in
the impoverished and fiercely traditional northern
governorates.

2. (SBU) Seyaj employees told PolOff on September 15 that
the organization is planning to publicize the story widely
after the Eid holiday in late September and will increase
pressure on Parliament to pass a law regulating a minimum age
for marriage of at least 17 (reftel). (Note: Parliament
passed an early-marriage law in February, but before it could
go to President Saleh for signature, religiously conservative
MPs forced it back into the constitutional committee for
review. There has been no progress on the law since that
time. End Note.) Abdulkarim Ahmed al-Wazzan, General
Director of International Organizations and Reports at the
Ministry of Human Rights (MOHR), told PolOff on September 15
that the ministry was not aware of the case, but he would
personally follow up with the Minister of Human Rights to
make sure that the MOHR responded appropriately.

COMMENT
-------

3. (SBU) Fawzia's story is but the latest in a string of
painful stories of child brides in Yemen forced into marriage
and motherhood prematurely. On the whole, Yemeni society
continues to cling to the tradition of child marriage, which
conservatives defend with religious justification. Post
believes that to combat the problem of child marriage, the
ROYG and civil society must (1) pressure Parliament to
finally pass the child marriage law and set a legal basis for
ending the practice and (2) conduct widespread public
education campaigns, focusing on imams and community leaders,
about the detrimental effects of early marriage and the
religious justification for postponing childbirth until girls
have reached maturity. END COMMENT.
SECHE

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 



World Vision: Covid-19 Surge Plunges Myanmar Into Humanitarian Catastrophe

Six months since the Myanmar military’s seizure of power, aid agencies are warning of a spiralling humanitarian catastrophe, triggered by skyrocketing Covid-19 cases and widespread violence. Covid-19 cases in Myanmar have doubled in the past two months... More>>


OECD: Annual Inflation Picks Up To 4.1% In June 2021

Year-on-year inflation in the OECD area increased to 4.1% in June 2021, compared with 3.9% in May. Inflation in the euro area was significantly lower than in the OECD area as a whole, and especially than in the United States...
More>>

World Vision: A Year On From Beirut Blast, Thousands Suffer Under Economic Collapse
In the year since the Beirut blast, a worsening economic crisis has vastly increased the numbers living in poverty, creating a worsening humanitarian crisis for Lebanon’s children, warns World Vision... More>>


Focus On: UN SDGs


UN Africa Renewal: Energy Will Play A Critical Role In The Success Of Africa’s Free Trade Area

As a global leader and advocate for the achievement of SDG7, which calls for access to reliable, affordable, sustainable and modern energy for all by 2030, what three key things do African countries need to do to end energy poverty..? More>>



Food Systems: More Than 100 Countries Discuss Visions For Futures To Accelerate Global Action Ahead Of September Summit

More than 100 countries came together over the course of three-days to discuss how they will transform their national food systems to drive progress against the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030... More>>


Food Systems: Italian & Rwandan Leaders Join Urgent Call To Transform World’s Food Systems As Pre-Summit Begins

Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi and Rwandan President Paul Kagame stress need for more inclusive, sustainable and holistic approaches ahead of the Summit in New York in September... More>>