More Hell, Fewer Dahlias: The Musings of a Radical Feminist.

“One of the Greatest Women I’ve Ever Seen.”

Posted on: March 4, 2010


That’s what Hillary Clinton called Nujood Ali, a twelve year old Yemeni girl who recently published “I am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced.”

Married to a 30 year old man at age nine by her father, Nujood was beaten and raped by her “husband” for two months before visiting her family home to see her sister. Her father’s second wife advised her to seek a divorce, and Nujood made her way to the courthouse. After sitting there for half a day, a kindly judge recognized her. Her father and “husband” were taken into custody, and the original judge housed Nujood for the trial. After refusing a judge’s original suggestion of taking a break for up to five years, then returning to the “husband,” Nujood was granted a divorce. Her memoir is now being published in nearly twenty languages, and she is enrolled in elementary school full-time.

There’s another great woman in this story: Shada Nasser, Nujood’s lawyer. The first female lawyer in Yemen, Shada started her career by offering legal services to incarcerated women.

Both women have been honored with multiple awards, though they were barred from attending a ceremony in Vienna, Austria, by the Yemeni government. Follow up stories indicate that Nujood may not be treated well by her family, and suffers from the stigma of divorce and reaching out to Western media.

More about the situation for Yemeni women: there is no minimum marriage age, though husbands are encouraged to wait until the wife is “ready.” Over 65% of women are illiterate, and kidnapping and rape are constant threats. Once married, women must obtain spousal permission for actions that involve leaving their house.

Educate someone on women’s situations in other countries today, please! We have a long way to go in so many countries, including my own.

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2 Responses to "“One of the Greatest Women I’ve Ever Seen.”"

Let’s hope the Beijing +15 will address this issues and make some progress when it come to preventing early marriages, which are institutionalized forms of sexual abuse of a child.

I hope! Thanks for visiting. 🙂

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