Child marriage is a practice that takes place way more often than it should. Every minute, about twenty-seven young girls are getting married around the world. Child marriage is defined as the marriage of anyone; boy or girl, under the age of 18, but it mostly affects girls. They most commonly take place in third-world countries and can occur for any number of reasons.
Throughout history, child marriages were actually pretty common. It is believed that girls, and sometimes boys, were expected to marry right after or even before puberty during the Middle Ages.
In Yemen, where Nujood endured her painful journey, nearly one-third of children are married. When Nujood was granted a divorce in 2008, the parliament in Yemen had been calling for but failed to establish a minimum age requirement of seventeen to get married. This was rejected because it claimed to be anti-Islam. The people of Yemen, who are predominantly Islam, follow the life and practices of Muhammad, who was actually at the time married to a young girl, age nine. Lawmakers used this to prevent a minimum age requirement law to be passed. In addition to lawmakers seeing this as a logical reason why it is okay for children to marry young, so did Nujood’s own father.
Parents allow for their daughters to be married at such young ages for many reasons, depending on the situation. The most common is the fact that some of these families don’t have the means to support all of their children. Because of this, parents see marrying their daughters as a solution because their new husband now has to support them. This most dangerous part of these “marriages” is the fact that their husbands usually physically, mentally, or sexually ab...
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...ed to follow. Unlike her mother, Nujood’s retaliation revealed a powerful image of her self-respect. Deep down she knew this was not the kind of life style and child at the age of ten years, or younger should go through. As mentioned, “child marriages are pretty common” and Nujood fought for her freedom as a child and change in their traditional way of life.
While reading this novel, individuals can fully imagine the struggles these child brides or arranged marriages in general go through. One can only experience what it feels like to belong to someone when they themselves do not have any idea who they are or can become. They are destined to obey and serve their husbands and honor their family tradition, and if they, like Nujood, choose to rebel against the norm of their reality, they will be looked down upon and punished for their disobedience and lack of respect.
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