News / Middle East

Yemeni Girl Escapes Early Marriage, Raises Awareness

Nada al-Ahdal, an 11-year-old Yemeni girl, who escaped an early, arranged marriage, is raising awareness about children and forced marriage.
Nada al-Ahdal, an 11-year-old Yemeni girl, who escaped an early, arranged marriage, is raising awareness about children and forced marriage.
Nada al-Ahdal, the 11-year-old Yemeni girl who says in a viral YouTube video that she ran away from home to escape a forced marriage, told Radio Sawa that money is the main motive behind her parents' intentions.
 
In the interview, she talked about the details of her ordeal. “I thought a lot about escaping my parent’s house during the night,  so at six a.m. I ran away by myself and I was not afraid,”  she said, and added that she is now under the protection of Yemeni Women Union, a nonprofit that empowers women and promotes their rights.
 
Nada has succeeded in attracting worldwide attention through her video in which she says “I would rather die than get married.”
 
 
She also asks in the three-minute clip, “What happened to childhood innocence? What have the children done wrong to get married off like that?”
 
Ahdal’s uncle, Abdul Salam al-Ahdal, told Radio Sawa his niece refuses to return to her parents because of their determination to marry her off.
 
He said attempts to persuade her parents to change their decision, especially the argument that she is too young to get married, have not succeeded despite the intervention of officials and humanitarian organizations.
 
He added that “radical Islamic parties” have threatened him and Nada because they want her and the whole case “to disappear” unless she submits to her parents’ will.
 
Nada Ahdal told Radio Sawa she is not planning to go back to her parents, whom she has not forgiven. She said she will solve her problem on her own, though she is not sure how. 
 
She said that her parents want her to marry a 22-year-old for financial purposes, the fundamental reason behind child forced marriage in Yemen.
 
“After I solve my own problem, I will try to help any other young girl going through the same situation as mine,” she said.
 
Her uncle said Nada, who had been living at his house since she was two years old, fled her parents’ house just two weeks after going back to visit them.
 
“I did not have an idea that her parents were planning for this marriage,” he said.
 
According to a Human Rights Watch report, widespread child marriage jeopardizes Yemeni girls’ access to education, harms their health and keeps them as second-class citizens.
 
The report also says there is no legal minimum age for girls to marry in Yemen and that many of them are forced into marriage as young as 8.
 
This report originally appeared on Radio Sawa. 

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: dr.lyasimba from: Tanzania
July 28, 2013 2:05 PM
I thanks to God first because he is a one who give her this opinion/advice to run away from her parents,who force her to do things which is very dangerous to her health at all. In Africa there is many family who do like this. Many parents do this for their benefits so they force girls to get marriage while girl is still under 18 years thats why they don't develop due to poor feeling that they do.
And many family become dependants from others because this facilitate many girls to can't get education thats why many family have poor economy due to luck of education. I beg the Human Right organisation to fixs this problems so as to make our World best for all of us.

by: Neil Stahl from: Chapel Hill, NC
July 26, 2013 11:09 AM
The thing about this is, it seems to be from MEMRI, an Israeli propaganda outfit. It may well be true, in which case it's terrible, but given the source and the motivation of the source to make Muslims look bad so Israel can more easily keep stealing Palestinian land, I'd take the whole thing with a grain of salt.
In Response

by: Katerina Arzhayev
July 27, 2013 1:49 AM
What prompts you to say that Israel steals Palestini land? The five peace talks they have had since 1937 offering 90% of their land to the Arabs, each of which the Palestinians refused?
In Response

by: Lew from: here
July 26, 2013 2:36 PM
Muslims don't need much help to look bad. They treat girls this way all the time. The truth hurts!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More