This week, an 8-year-old Yemeni girl allegedly died from internal injuries and “vaginal tearing” after being raped by her 40-year-old husband. This is a horrific example of why child marriage must be stopped immediately.
The girl, identified only as Rawan, was reportedly forced to marry a man more than five times her age and then bled to death on her wedding night.
In February 2009, a law was passed to set the minimum marrying age at 17, but it was repealed after some lawmakers voiced opposition on religious grounds. Just a year later, a 13-year-old girl died from internal injuries three days after having sex with her new husband.
After Rawan’s story went viral, Yemeni authorities leapt to deny it. But the U.N. estimates that one in three women in Yemen is forced to marry an older man before they turn eighteen.
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