More girls forced into child marriage in Yemen

Child marriage rates have increased in Yemen, which suffer from a civil war since 2015, and a deteriorating economic situation, particularly in villages where girls are not allowed to complete their education.


Yemen-Yemen is among the countries where the phenomenon of child marriage is most prevalent. The story of a 10-year-old girl named Noha Jamil, who was forced into child marriage by her father is one of the child marriage cases sparked anger in Yemen.

The story of Noha Jamil is only one of thousands stories of girls, who were forced into marriage in Yemen, particularly in villages, where girls are not allowed to complete their education life; however, this phenomenon has been seen as a tradition by the rural communities since ancient times.  

Journalist Lamia Al-Sharabi believes that the rate of underage/child marriage in Yemen has increased due to the ongoing civil war, forced displacement and difficult economic conditions. “The phenomenon of underage marriage is widespread in refugee camps, where families try to marry off their daughters at an early age under the pretext of their fear of rape or harassment,” she said.

“War and displacement are the reason for the spread of child marriage”

Warda Al-Asbahi, a student of art, thinks that the reason why the rate of child marriage is due to ignorance and lack of education, “Some people still think that girls must get married at an early age. War and forced displacement are also the reason for the spread of child marriage. The victims of child marriage are deprived of their rights.”

“Child marriage is a rights violation against children”

Activist Zainab Al-Rahidi stressed that child marriage is a rights violation against children and girls in particular, “They are deprived of their right to life and are forced to bear burdens beyond their capabilities, and they are the ones who pay the highest price. Many of victims of child marriage are subjected to violence because they do not know how to raise children, and bear the responsibilities of their families. These reasons sometimes drive them to suicide.”

“NGOs work to end child marriage”

Maha Awn, head of the Kayan Foundation for Peace and Development, said that many NGOs and human rights organizations work to end underage/ child marriage. However, the rate of child marriage is very high in Yemen due to the ongoing civil war and economic crisis in the country.”

Health consequences of child marriage

Counseling psychologist Karima Al-Samadi spoke about the consequences of child marriage on children. “Child marriage causes many psychological disorders among girls because they are not physically, psychologically and cognitively ready to marry. They suffer from trauma since they are very young to bear all responsibilities of their family. They are often subjected to violence by their husbands and their husbands’ families,” she told us.