This week a Yemeni court granted a divorce to an eight-year-old girl who was given an arranged marriage with 28-year-old Faez Ali Thameur. Nojud Mohammed Ali just wants to go to school, but the husband admits that he consummated the marriage. In an civilized court of law, he would have walked out with a criminal charge of child rape and abuse. Instead, he left with an uncontested divorce. As shown below, this is not unique in this area of the world.
The child responded out of court that “I am happy that I am divorced now. I will be able to go back to school.”
Nojud’s father, Mohammad Ali Al-Ahdal, said he married off his daughter only after his oldest daughter was kidnapped and later married to her kidnapper. That same man then kidnapped another daughter (and was jailed).
The real problem is would seem is a legal system that treats girls and women like chattel and has a high tolerance for rape. This is only the latest scandal involving the rape or abusive punishment of females by courts in the Middle East. Click here and here.
In this story, other cases of child brides are discussed in Afghanistan. The pictures are disgusting. One shows Roshan Qasem, 11, marrying Said Mohammed, 55. Another shows Ghulan Haider, 11, to be married to Faiz Mohammed, 40. Another shows Majabin Mohammed, 13, sitting with her husband of six months, Mohammed Fazal, 45.
For the full story, click here.
Whatever the father’s motivation, a court calmly granted a divorce without a word about the obvious act of rape of a child. This is clearly not simply a case of a legal system that lacks basic concepts of human rights for girls and women. It is an obvious cultural problem for this country where adults can stand around discussing a divorce and ignore the rapist in the courtroom.