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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population 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.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid