Women's Rights

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-04-2001
Women's Rights
Tue, 09-17-2013 - 12:51pm


Outrage over death of Yemeni child bride, 8, on wedding night
By Mohammed Ghobari and Claire Davenport, Reuters
September 17, 2013, 9:38 am

SANAA, Yemen -- Yemeni authorities are investigating the death of an eight-year-old girl from internal bleeding on her wedding night and will prosecute those responsible, the government said on Friday, a case that has rekindled international outrage over child brides.

Yemeni rights campaigner Arwa Othman said earlier this week that the girl, identified as Rawan, died after intercourse that ruptured her uterus following her wedding to a man five times her age. Residents in the town of Meedi in Hajjah province in northwestern Yemen confirmed the incident.

Othman said no action had been taken against the man.

"The government (of Yemen) is dealing seriously with this issue and it will investigate it and those responsible will be brought to justice," Rajeh Badi, an aide to Prime Minister Mohammed Salem Basindwa, told Reuters.

European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton urged the Sanaa authorities on Friday to investigate the case "without delay and to prosecute all those responsible for this crime".

In a statement, she said the Arabian Peninsula country should reinstate a law setting a minimum age for marriage.

Many poor families in Yemen marry off young daughters to save on the costs of bringing up a child and earn extra money from the dowry given to a girl.

According to the United Nations around half of Yemen's 24 million people lack sufficient food and access to safe water.

Under international norms such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, every person regardless of their age must give their consent before they can be married.

Human Rights Watch previously urged Yemen's government to ban marriages of girls under the age of 18. It said nearly 14 percent of Yemeni girls were married before the age of 15 and 52 percent before the age of 18. HRW said many Yemeni child brides-to-be are kept from school when they reach puberty.

The European Union spends some $79.85 million a year on aid to Yemen.



Copyright 2013 Thomson Reuters.


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-17-2012
Thu, 09-26-2013 - 2:29pm

I always thought that the best way to counter the rights issue was to treat both sides equally.  For instance, if a woman cannot make the choice to terminate a pregnancy, then the man who impregnated her must never be allowed to have intercourse with her or any other woman unless it is for the specific purpose of conception and tthat purpose must be consensual with the woman.  No male sex for the sake of pleasure.  Let's see if the gander likes the sauce with which the goose is too often served. Given the number of prescriptions for "performance enhancing" drugs like Viagra and Cialis, or the testosterone gels, I suspect there would be a massive outcry against such a proposal.

One problem... that is not "treating both sides equally."  Treating both sides equally with your "no male sex for the sake of pleasure" criterion would be to prohibit women from having sex for the sake of pleasure as well.  Sales of vibrators and pulsating shower jets will plummet.  Equality regarding abortion would be to give men the same right to abort a baby as the woman has... and also to make the man be as personally and financially responsible as the woman in raising the child.

In India, women are gradually make headway.  Again, it wasn't long ago that suttee and purdah were accepted.  There was a case of suttee in 1987.  http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/575795/suttee  Recently the U.N. sponsored a study on rape which made internet news:  http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/09/130914-rape-asia-pacific-un-men-violence-women/  The idea of "sexual entitlement" seems to underlie high rape figures in certain countries. According to the study's author, gang rapes are often associated with poverty.

This appears to be an issue of crime, not a culturall perception of "entitlement."

In any event, too often a woman's own rights are secondary, if they exist at all.  Like you, I see no distinction in claiming a difference between "culture" and "women's rights".

Unless you're referring to our Founding Fathers perception of "unalienable rights"... i.e. life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness... the "rights" you speak of are not inherent rights but rights granted by the government, and so can be taken away by the government.  But it is interesting to see the hypocrisy of a woman claiming the "right" to kill her child for the sake of her own convenience, while at the same moment denying that child the most basic of rights... the "right to life."