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By: Yasmine Hamdy
Rawan, an innocent eight-year-old Yemeni girl died on her wedding night with her husband who is aged above 40 years, almost five times her age.
Kuwaiti daily newspaper Al Watan reported that the girl suffered a tear to her genitals and severe bleeding. Yemeni activists called on the local police to arrest the "beastly groom" and the girl's family, and transferred them to a court; hoping this case might help put an end to the practice of marrying very young girls in the impoverished country.
Reports show that almost over a quarter of Yemen's young girls are married before the age of 15, the matter that exposes them to physical, emotional and sexual violence and lifelong damage to girls who are forced to marry young, all beside losing their rights in having a better education and being not fully matured on both physical and mental levels.
This practice of marrying young girls is extensively common in Yemen, the matter that attracted a lot of international rights groups as the World Health Organization showed that every day 39.000 girls younger than 18 are exposed to this fate of getting married at this young stage.
International rights groups tried a lot to force the government to outlaw child marriages. Actually in February 2009 the country passed a law setting the minimum age of marriage at 17, but that it was repealed after conservative lawmakers declared it “un-Islamic”.
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