UN says Yemeni child bride's death is tragedy
(AP) – 2 days ago
UNITED NATIONS — The head of the U.N. children's agency said Monday that the tragic death of a 12-year-old Yemeni after three days in labor underscores the urgent need to better protect the rights of girls and prevent child marriages.
Fawziya Abdullah Youssef died of severe bleeding on Friday while giving birth to a stillborn child in the al-Zahra district hospital of Hodeida province, 140 miles (223 kilometers) west of the capital San'a. Youssef was only 11 when her father married her to a 24-year-old man who works as a farmer in Saudi Arabia, Ahmed al-Quraishi, chairman of the Siyaj human rights organization, said Saturday.
UNICEF Executive Director Ann Veneman expressed sadness at Fawziya's untimely death.
"Child marriage denies girls of their childhood, deprives them of an education and robs them of their innocence," she said in a statement.
Child marriages are widespread in Yemen, the Arab world's poorest country, where tribal customs dominate society. More than a quarter of the country's females marry before age 15, according to a recent report by the Social Affairs Ministry.
In February, Yemen's parliament passed a law setting the minimum marriage age at 17. But some lawmakers are trying to kill the measure, calling it un-Islamic. Before it could be ratified by Yemen's president, they forced it to be sent back to parliament's constitutional committee for review.
Veneman said "the younger the girl is when she becomes pregnant, the greater the health risks for her and her baby."
Girls who give birth before the age of 15 are five times more likely to die in childbirth than women in their 20s, she said.
"Tragedies like these underscore the urgent need to better protect the rights of women and children, particularly girls," Veneman said. "Child marriages are often a result of poverty and ignorance. More must be done to address the underlying causes in order to prevent tragic deaths like those of 12-year-old Fawziya and her baby."
from AP news.
I am once again appalled by what Middle Easterners do, it saddens me we are living in an era where such things are voiced but not changed, and changes come only to those who don't deserve it.
Sometimes I wonder where the road ends?