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Yemen

Taux de mariages d'enfants
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 15 ans
9%
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 18 ans
32%

* Références

Fait référence au pourcentage de femmes âgées de 20 à 24 ans qui ont été mariées ou en concubinage avant le l’âge de 15 ou 18 ans.

Photo credit: USAID

Taux de mariages d'enfants
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 15 ans
9%
UNICEF 2017 % mariées avant l’âge de 18 ans
32%

* Références

Fait référence au pourcentage de femmes âgées de 20 à 24 ans qui ont été mariées ou en concubinage avant le l’âge de 15 ou 18 ans.

What's the child marriage rate? How big of an issue is child marriage?

32% of girls in Yemen are married before their 18th birthday and 9% are married before the age of 15.

Child marriage is most common in Al-Jawf and Al-Baidha Governorates.
This rise in child marriages in Yemen is a visible indicator of the conflict’s disproportionate impact on children. Child marriage has been used both as a coping mechanism to protect girls and sustain families, and has left child brides with nowhere to turn due to a break down in welfare services and schools.

Are there country-specific drivers of child marriage in this country?

Child marriage is driven by gender inequality and the belief that girls are somehow inferior to boys. In Yemen, child marriage is also driven by:

  • Armed conflict: Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East. Girls are increasingly being married off as a source of income as ongoing conflict drives them deeper into poverty and desperation. Child marriage is considered to reduce the cost of caring for girls and offer them better protection through husbands.
  • Level of education: Many parents force girls to leave school when they reach puberty to help with household chores and prepare them for marriage. The median age of marriage is lower among women with no formal education and living in rural areas.
  • Family honour: Some parents marry off their daughters to preserve family honour and to protect them from engaging in shameful behaviour.
  • Force: The UN Child Rights Committee has expressed concern that girls in conflict-affected communities are being forcibly married to members of the Ansar-al-Sharia armed group, as well as through “tourism” marriages for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
  • Gender norms: Girls in Yemen live in a patriarchal, male-dominated society, and have little power to negotiate their own choices. Article 40 of the Personal Status Law requires a wife’s obedience to her husband and his consent to leave the home.

What has this country committed to?

Yemen has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by 2030 in line with target 5.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Yemen co-sponsored the 2013 Human Rights Council resolution on child, early and forced marriage.

Yemen ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1991, which sets a minimum age of marriage of 18, and acceded to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1984, which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage.

Yemen is a focus country of the UNICEF-UNFPA Global Programme to Accelerate Action to End Child Marriage, a multi-donor, multi-stakeholder programme working across 12 countries over four years.

During its 2014 Universal Periodic Review, Yemen supported recommendations to promote girls’ education as a means of eradicating child marriage. Further recommendations included to ensure children can establish full, free and informed consent and have sufficient mental capacity to fully comprehend the consequences and obligations of marriage.

At the Girl Summit in July 2014, the government signed a charter committing to end child marriage by 2020.

What is the government doing to address this at the national level?

Recent political instability has made it difficult for civil society organisations to operate within Yemen, and knowledge about child marriage prevention and response is therefore very limited.

In January 2014, Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference, a 565-member forum created to establish the building blocks of a new Constitution, recommended that the government set the minimum age for marriage at 18 in accordance with international standards. The political crisis in Yemen has paralysed parliamentary action on this and many other legislative reforms.

A powerful group of conservative parliamentarians have opposed setting a minimum age for marriage, arguing that it will lead to immorality, undermine family values and contradict Sharia law.

During its 2014 Universal Periodic Review, Yemen’s Minister of Human Rights was commended on taking an active stance against child marriage.

Yemen Organization for Combatting Human Trafficking runs a community-led awareness project on the harmful consequences of child marriage in Yemen-Sana’a, but recent conflict has made it challenging to continue.

The Safe Age of Marriage project was piloted in 2009 in Amran Governorate. The project covered communities in Al-Sawd and Al-Soodeh districts, where only 8% of girls aged 15-17 attended school.

The Danish Refugee Council has worked with community leaders in Saada to raise awareness about the dangers of child marriage.

What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

Under the amended Personal Status Law 1999 there is no minimum legal age of marriage.

The Yemeni government’s Sharia Legislative Committee has blocked attempts to raise marriage age to either 15 or 18, on grounds that any law setting minimum age for girls is un-Islamic.

Source

Girl Summit 2014, The Girl Summit Charter on Ending FGM and Child, Early and Forced Marriage, [website], 2015, https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/459236/Public_Girl_Summit_Charter_with_Signatories.pdf (accessed February 2018)

Human Rights Watch, « How Come You Allow Little Girls to Get Married? » Child Marriage in Yemen, 2011, https://www.hrw.org/report/2011/12/07/how-come-you-allow-little-girls-get-married/child-marriage-yemen (accessed March 2018)

Human Rights Watch, Yemen: End Child MarriageEnact Law Establishing Minimum Age; Punish Violators, [website], 2014, https://www.hrw.org/news/2014/04/27/yemen-end-child-marriage (accessed March 2018)

Ministry of Public Health and Population, Central Statistical Organization, Pan Arab Program for Family Health and ICF International, Yemen National Health and Demographic Survey 2013, 2015, https://dhsprogram.com/pubs/pdf/FR296/FR296.pdf (accessed March 2018)

The Independent, Yemen war: The girl forced to marry at 11 whose story exposes the conflict’s toll on children, [website], 2016, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/yemen-war-the-girl-forced-to-marry-at-11-whose-story-exposes-the-conflicts-toll-on-children-a7125151.html (accessed March 2018)

UNFPA, Families increasingly resort to child marriage as Yemen’s conflict grinds on, [website], 2016, https://www.unfpa.org/news/families-increasingly-resort-child-marriage-yemen%E2%80%99s-conflict-grinds (accessed March 2018)

UN Child Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the fourth periodic report on Yemen, 2014, http://www.refworld.org/docid/52f89d5c4 (accessed March 2018)

UN General Assembly, Compilation prepared by the Office of the UN HCHR in accordance with paragraph 15 (b) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1 and paragraph 5 of the annex to Council resolution 16/21 Yemen, 2013, https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/YEIndex.aspx (accessed March 2018)

UN General Assembly, Report of the Working Group on the Universal Periodic Review: Yemen, 2014, p.20, https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/YEIndex.aspx (accessed March 2018)

UN General Assembly, Summary prepared by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in accordance with paragraph 15 (b) of the annex to Human Rights Council resolution 5/1 and paragraph 5 of the annex to Council resolution 16/21 Yemen, 2013, https://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/UPR/Pages/YEIndex.aspx (accessed March 2018)

United Nations, Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform, [website], 2017, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdg5 (accessed February 2018)

United States Agency for International Development, Safe Age of Marriage” in Yemen: Fostering Change in Social Norm, 2010, https://www.k4health.org/sites/default/files/esd_legacy_child_marriage.pdf (accessed March 2018)

 

Fait référence au pourcentage de femmes âgées de 20 à 24 ans qui ont été mariées ou en concubinage avant le l’âge de 15 ou 18 ans.