The NYT takes the longstanding Muslim tradition of child marriages in Yemen and turns it into an ‘economic deprivation’ story:
CAIRO — The girl did not know whether it was night or day when she plotted her escape from a house in Yemen. Her husband had locked the girl in a windowless room.
“He was mean to me because I didn’t want to touch him,” she said.
He was 35. She was 14.
But the girl, Mohsina, was not only a victim of child marriage. She was a casualty of a war that has plunged her country into a humanitarian catastrophe. For Mohsina’s family, marrying off their underage daughter earned a $1,300 dowry — enough to feed them for a year.
We learn later that her husband is “a distant cousin”. That’s nice.
But none of this would be happening, apparently, if not for war:
Yemen is a country in crisis. After more than two years of war, its infrastructure has been badly damaged and its people impoverished, with hundreds of thousands sickened with cholera. But hidden among the numbing statistics of death and destruction is another insidious scourge: Desperate families are increasingly selling their daughters off as child brides or letting their boys be recruited as child soldiers.
Did the war also cause the institutionalization of child marriage, as buried in the NYT story with this sentence?
Yemeni law does not set a legal age for marriage, nor does it criminalize marital rape.
A Google search on “Yemen Child Marriage” pulls up an awful lot of new stories, many from years ago, about child bride stories. The search also retrieves the interesting YouTube video The Child Brides Of Yemen (2014), where we learn that over 40% of marriages in some areas of Yemen involve girls younger than age 15.
Nothing to see here.