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2010 (Narrative date)

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.

Magda, 21 at the time of this interview, was married when she was 14.

I reached sixth grade, and left school to get married. Now, when I see my daughter, I say to myself who’s going to teach her because I can’t. I understood it now when I got older [the value of education].


Narrative provided by Human Rights Watch in their report “How Come You Allow Little Girls to Get Married?”: Child Marriage in Yemen