„Last year, Ayisha was married at only 13 years old. She delivered a baby several weeks ago – a girl. ‚My family forced me to get married and took me out of school,‘ she told UNFPA while recuperating from childbirth. She was crying; the new reality of her situation weighed heavily on her. ‚What is the future I want for my baby?‘ she asked bitterly. ‚I would force her to get married, just like they did to me.‘ Ayisha is far from alone. A recent assessment by UNFPA and the Italian aid group INTERSOS indicates that families in Yemen may be increasingly resorting to child marriage as the country’s ongoing conflict drives them deeper into poverty and desperation.
Child marriage has long been a scourge in Yemen, one of the few countries in the region without a legal minimum age of marriage. In a 2013 survey, nearly 32 per cent of women, aged 20 to 24, said they were married before reaching 18, and more than 9 per cent were married younger than 15. Attempts to set 18 as the minimum marrying age collapsed with the outbreak of the conflict last year. And today, child marriage rates could be much higher.“ (Bericht des United Nations Population Funds: „Families increasingly resort to child marriage as Yemen’s conflict grinds on“)