Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

What Kind of Pervert Marries an 8 Year Old?

As seen in this article, there are deep divisions in Yemen (among other places) about the child brides. Apparently, 48% of girls in Yemen are married before they reach 18, in violation of the Convention of Rights of the Child. In some regions, just over half of 15 year olds are already married. Those who oppose a minimum age say that they recognize puberty as the time when a girl becomes an adult. Still, many marriages take place before this, and though the husbands are not "supposed" to have sex with their pre-pubescent wives, it is a common practice.

Here is a photo-essay about child brides, telling the stories of many girls forced into marriage at young ages. The stories are horrifying and heartbreaking. Here is a moving video about the subject of Child Marriage (embedding disabled).

As a result of getting married this early, girls are taken out of school, so they get no education. They are often mistreated by their husbands, because they have little or no power in the relationship with a much older man.

About 10% of babies worldwide are to mothers between the ages of 15-19. These girls are twice as likely to die in childbirth as women 20-24. Younger mothers, from 10-14, are 5 times more likely to die in childbirth. Their bodies are not ready to bear children, and they are much more likely to be injured or contract AIDS from sex and childbirth.

We must do what we can to end this abominable practice, and invest in women's health, education, and empowerment worldwide!

Views: 19

Comment by Raymond M. Kristiansen on April 8, 2010 at 1:01am
Thanks for sharing this awesome materials. The video for 'The Girl Effect' was really inspiring to me.
Comment by Iron Helix on April 8, 2010 at 1:02am
So any ideas as to how we should end the practice?
Comment by Iron Helix on April 8, 2010 at 1:02am
meant to underline that
Comment by Raymond M. Kristiansen on April 8, 2010 at 1:03am
the video is pretty clear of One path: see a girl in poverty, give her a chance to go to school, study, and to later on start her own little micro-business. prosper, and be involved with others, and inspire others.

education is key.
Comment by Iron Helix on April 8, 2010 at 1:06am
But if they're being forced into marriage (i.e. being denied education)... then what?
Comment by Iron Helix on April 8, 2010 at 1:11am
@ a. kinsara Yeah I read the blog. I am working on an extensive blog of my own which will talk about that for a bit.
Comment by Dr Pete on April 8, 2010 at 1:37am
What can one do...? Well, I don't pretend to have superpowers, but I can point to some things that look promising.

There are groups like Tostan, which go around Africa teaching people about human rights, and convincing the villages to officially declare that they won't be involved with it anymore.

Generally education, empowering women, giving them more access to more options, putting pressure on their governments/societies to change... this is what I can think of at the moment.

In the US, legislation is regularly introduced to require the US to put pressure on countries to end the practice, but to date these have not passed. Obviously, they would require the US to take a hard line on the subject which many of us hardly know exists.
Comment by nomadHAR on April 13, 2010 at 10:00pm
child brides have been a part of societies in many parts of the world at different points in history. i find it all completely despicable; it shows a clear disrespect of both the rights of women and of children.

women must be given equal rights, and society must learn or be forced to accept those rights. there is still great disparity between how women and men are treated, even in 'enlightened' countries. changing the law does not prevent discrimination in other ways. the USA has a big gap between what women and men are paid for the same jobs. the 'woman in the kitchen' image is still being forced upon even the very young. a woman or man should have the freedom to do take any life path. full stop.


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