Cross posted from Indian Homemaker’s Blog.
(Yemen) …”a 12-year-old girl died in childbirth after an agonizing 3-day labor. …young Fawziya was pulled out of school and married to a man twice her age.“
She isn’t the only one.
The issue of Yemeni child brides came to the forefront last year, with 8-year-old Nujood Ali who “was pulled out of school and married to a man who beat and raped her within weeks of the ceremony.
To escape, Nujood hailed a taxi — the first time in her life — to get across town to the central courthouse where she sat on a bench and demanded to see a judge.“ [Full story]
“Yemen is full of child brides. Roughly half of Yemeni girls are married before 18, some as young as eight. Child marriage, common in South Asia, sub- Saharan Africa and Middle-Eastern countries such as Yemen, is dangerous for brides and their children…”
India is not too different. I have met a few, all unhappy. One of my maids once confessed that she had a daughter who she had left in her village near Ferozpur. She was devoted to her son, dropped him to a ‘private school’ everyday and bought Bournvita for him. Didn’t she worry about how her other child was doing?
She said her husband hated the girl and she felt the child was safer with her maternal grandmother. When I conveyed my disapproval, she confessed that the daughter was from an earlier marriage to an older man, and although her husband had promised to take care of her, he treated her cruelly.
When she was 12 her family had married her to a 40-year old widower. He raped her and beat her. She escaped and came back to her village. She told her family she would hang herself if they tried to send her back. She was pregnant with that daughter at the time. She never went back and was married again when she was older.
Her daughter was more like a sister to her, she thought of her grandmother as her mother.
Not all girls escape or die, many stay married and live to have many children (healthy or unhealthy) over whom they have no rights. Women in such marriages are another generation, and much younger, and since our society associates wisdom with age, the husband’s word is the last word in all important matters. Dead or alive, they have no life.
More I come across domestic violence, more poignant feelings I have. This time watch this brief 30-sec youtube video:
Warning: The video has violence. With a message.
This video is part of Canadian anti-domestic abuse campaign that never went on air.
(Letting out a long and deep breath !!)
I just saw this Web site called AbuseAware. It is a Web site dedicated to sensitive about the abuse related issues. This site also promotes a book related to the subject called Living With The Enemy. Home page of this Web site has some really poignant pictures with captions. Sample these:
Visit AbuseAware to see more.
I wanted to write about Domestic Violence (DV) as a crime thats increasing its wings with each passing day, but then I thought, the roots are much deeper… And I would rather address an issue, which could be one of the prime causes!
Let us answer a couple of questions first.
- Do illiterate women suffer from DV? YES
- Do educated women suffer from DV? YES
- Do housewives suffer from DV? YES
- Do working women suffer from DV? YES
- Do young women suffer from DV? YES
- Do ageing women suffer from DV? YES
- Do mothers suffer from DV? YES
- Do celebrities suffer from DV? YES
Answers to all the above questions are a resounding YES!
Was going through the case of Shweta Tiwari a couple of days ago. Being famous, beautiful, and the sole bread-earner of the family, did not stop her from being physically abused by her husband, whose sole claim to fame is that he is Shweta’s husband. The fact that she had been suffering this for almost 8 years now, speaks volumes!