News

Child marriage on the rise

1 September 2016
Child marriage on the rise
A displaced girl in front of her temporary house in Al Houdaydah, one of the many governorates in Yemen where child marriage is on the rise.
A recent thematic assessment on child marriage across eleven southern and northern governorates in Yemen shows an increase in child marriage, particularly among girls, following the outbreak of war. Based on the interviews with survivors, the prevailing age for child marriage among girls’ was 15 years. 
 
In the north of Yemen 72 percent of those interviewed, got married between the age of 13 and 15 years (both boys and girls), 17 percent got married between 8 and 12 year and 11 percent between 16 and 18. While in the South, 62 percent of interviewed survivors married before they reached 16 years of age. 38 percent married between 16 and 17 years old. 
 
Displacement resulting from the conflict has increased the practice of child marriage as displacement increased poverty and social-economic pressure on families. Child marriage, particularly for girls was seen as a copying mechanism for poor families to have their girls taken care of by another family. The collapse of security and judicial and social institutions has also heightened the perceived threats to girl’s security and family well-being. Child marriage is rooted in the Yemeni culture, especially in rural communities and the current context further raises its prevalence.