Eight-Year-Old Girl Divorces Husband From Arranged Marriage

An eight-year-old Yemeni girl was granted a divorce from an arranged marriage she was forced into in just the second grade.

Nojud Mohammed Ali said she was forced to marry under an agreement reached between her unemployed father and 28-year-old former husband, Faez Ali Thameur, earlier this year, AFP reported.

"They asked me to sign the marriage contract and remain in my father's house until I was 18," the girl told AFP. "But a week after signing, my father and my mother forced me to go live with him."

Thameur told a judge that he married Nojud with her consent and her parents', and that the marriage "was consummated, but I did not beat her." He did not object to the divorce petition.

Nojud's father said he married off his daughter with her consent out of fear that she might be kidnapped, as he claimed her two older sisters had been, AFP reported.

Nojud said she has no desire to see her father and will instead live with a maternal uncle.

"I am happy that I am divorced now. I will be able to go back to school," Nojud told AFP.

Her lawyer compared the case to thousands of others in Yemen, which has no minimum age of marriage. She said advocates are pushing for laws that would make 18 the minimum age of marriage.

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