8-Year-Old In Yemen Takes Abusive 30-Year-Old Husband To Court, And Wins!

Illustration for article titled 8-Year-Old In Yemen Takes Abusive 30-Year-Old Husband To Court, And Wins!

Nojoud Muhammed Nasser wants a divorce. She is eight years old, and really too cute to be illustrating an angry feminist rant, but I guess that's sort of the point: Nasser's dad married her off to a thirty-year-old child molester, and while that sort of thing is perfectly legal in Yemen since they amended the marital age limit laws in 1999, the molester was not supposed to try to actually molest her, according to the law, until she was "mature." Remarkably, he did not comply. It's a tossup who is the more reprehensible man in this story: the husband —"Whenever I wanted to play in the yard he beat me and asked me to go to the bedroom with him," she tells the Yemen Times, or the dad, who "beat me and told me that I must marry this man, and if I did not, I would be raped and no law and no sheikh in this country would help me" — until you learn her dad is a beggar who probably has mental problems. Some interesting context re the Yemen Times: they employ columnist Maged Thabet Al-Kholidy, author of the recent internet sensation: "There Must Be Violence Against Women."

I can only hope the newspaper can monetize some of that traffic and get reporter Hamed Thabet a raise.


Noujoud Nasser's is not an unusual case in Yemen, where poor people — and most are poor — often sell their kids to old pervs to make ends meet; in Nasser's case her dad went a little crazy after losing his job as a garbage truck driver and being forced to beg for a living. But Nasser is the first minor to go to court herself to ask for a divorce; her family members didn't dare. Nasser's husband and dad have both been arrested — though the dad has since been released — which may be why Yemen isn't the worst place to be a woman, though it does rank 138th out of 140 on a list of Best to Worst places to be a mother. (Niger and Sierra Leone are worse.)

In other Yemeni news, a branch of Al Qaeda took credit for bombing an expatriate compound in the capital city of Sanaa, so ambassador Tom Krajeski evacuated the nonessential staff.

For the First Time In Yemen, Eight Year Old Girl Asks For Divorce [Yemen Times]
Related: Early Marriage Hampering Country's Development
Earlier: The Ground Rules For Wifebeating, Brought To You By The Yemen Times

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@TwiceShy: @and Begorrah: @cate3710: @Archetype: What i would be interested in seeing is how this girl is treated in society afterwards. In Muslim socieities (in many cases, not all) even little girls who are raped are never allowed to get married: she's "soiled." If she is not married, she has no real shot at a life outside of prostitution or begging. Though, with the gov't actually standing up for her, I wonder if it will make a difference.

Nojoud, you darling little spitfire, I adore you and you can come crash at my place any itme you want.