There are an estimated 85,000 people living in modern slavery in Yemen (GSI 2018). Young girls are subjected to child forced marriage, with UNICEF estimating 32% of girls being married before the age of 18. There is currently no legal age of marriage in Yemen and poverty, the practice of dowry and strict social and religious customs are drivers of child marriage in the country. With the onset of conflict within the country, estimates suggest that child marriage is on the rise.
Thuraya was married when she was around 16 or 17 years old.
I would go back to my father’s house and my family would tell me that these are normal problems. They would say that a woman has to have patience and would return me to my husband’s home as if I was wrong, and I would think that maybe I was wrong after all. I would be quiet… just to avoid problems.
Narrative provided by Human Rights Watch in their report “How Come You Allow Little Girls to Get Married?”: Child Marriage in Yemen