Well Behaved Women Rarely Make History, Volume V

Monday, April 14, 2008

This is Nojoud Muhammed Nasser. She's 8 years, and lives in Yemen.

Her father, Muhammed Nasser, also recently married her off to a 30 year old man named Faez Ali Thamer.

In Yemen, children under the age of 15 are not supposed to be married. However, parents can make a contract for their children's marriage before that time. How very convenient. But even in cases where underage girls are sold...er...contracted into marriage, intimacy is not supposed to occur until the girl is mature and ready for such intimacy.

Would you like to guess if this young girl's husband decided to wait until she reached puberty to be intimate with her?

Well, it turns out that Nojoud Muhammed Nasser is not as helpless as she appears. After begging her husband and birth family for help in dealing with the abuse, and receiving none, she decided to take matters into her own hands.

She went to court to ask a judge to grant her a divorce on the grounds of sexual and domestic abuse. Because Nojoud is underage, she cannot swear out a complaint on her own, but court judge Muhammed Al-Qathi heard her story and ordered the arrest of both her father and her husband.

Najoud will not be returned to her family, but will instead live in Dar Al-Rahama, a children's charity, where she will get an education.

This is the first time in Yemeni history that a child has gone to court on her own to ask for a divorce after her family has failed to help her.

Can you imagine what kind of woman Najoud will grow into?

Well done, Najoud. You keep making history.

H/T to SkepChick.

9 comments:

Anne C. said...

Wow. That's amazing. Makes you wonder who taught her to stand up for herself like that. Yay! 1 down, 2.86 billion to go.

In an interesting coincidence, I read an article in the Washington Post about the Death Penalty for Child Rape here in the U.S. On one hand, just thinking about child rape makes me physically ill, but on the other hand, I agree with the cautions against taking such a measure. Child abuse in general is such a rarely reported crime (compared to how often it occurs), that it seems this would make worse. If, on the other hand, we had a way to know (without a doubt) every child rapist without depending on reporting, I'd be all f... ooh, alternative just presented itself to me. Don't kill them, just brand their forehead with the words "child rapist." I think that would be an appropriate punishment.

Nathan said...

That's amazing!

Janiece Murphy said...

Anne, I've been followng that, too.

I'm deeply ambivalent about the death penalty in general, but I'd be willing to make an exception for child rapists if their guilt could be determined with a reasonable degree of accuracy.

And for the record, our current system does not determine guilt with a high enough degree of accuracy to allow the death penalty, IMO.

And I wonder how many UCFers read teh Washington Post? Seems a bit high.

Nathan, why don't you conduct a survey, or something, since your the Prez?

And yes, an amazing girl.

Anne C. said...

Well, my excuse is that I grew up near DC (and that they actually cover international news).

I agree with you on the death penalty. It's a thorny problem.

Cindi in CO said...

re: Death penalty for child rapists.

Unfortunately, many, many children are assualted by family members. How many of these kids will come forward knowing their relative/rapist will be put to death? Even fewer than we have now, I suspect.

And J., I agree with you about our current system's failure to prove guilt beyond a shadow of a doubt. Too many people are walking off death row these days, having been vindicated by DNA evidence. I can imagine little worse that being put to death for a crime you didn't commit, because you didn't have the financial resources to put up an adequate defense.

Janiece Murphy said...

Cindi, you make a good point about family members often being the guilty parties in these cases. While I don't think that means they should receive any type of leniency because of that, the victim's feelings should be taken into account.

And we feel the same way about the death penalty because we're both pinko liberal communists. Go us!

Nathan said...

I don't read the Washington Post. I do however complete their crossword puzzle on line most days.

Cindi in CO said...

"Go us!"

For some reason, I found this quite amusing. :D

Steve Buchheit said...

Huzzah! Next time I raise a mug, the first hoist will be in Nojoud's honor.

Yeah, while I would volunteer for the death room (no pay, I'll wear the hood, long personal story I'd rather not relate here) I think it would make reporting harder. One of the reasons why domestic violence calls are the police's worst case scenario is that the victim may attack the officer as they arrest the perpetrator. One of the main things adults deal with who were abused as kids is their own guilt and feelings about those that abused them. Add in that if they report the crime the abuser may be killed because of it, major guilt trip on the victim (a form of co-dependancy, and "oh joy, I know that term" - insert copious cursing here).