Target: Nada al-Ahdal
Goal: Applaud courageous eleven-year-old girl who fled from a forced marriage
Recently, an eleven-year-old Yemeni girl renounced her family and fled, under the threat of death, an arranged marriage. Arranged marriages are common in Yemen, where crushing poverty makes it difficult for families to refuse the money offered for their child daughters. More than 25 percent of Yemen girls marry before age eighteen.
Nada Al-Ahdal had been taken in by her uncle, Abdel Salam al-Ahdal, at age three. When Nada turned ten, a Yemeni man living in Saudi Arabian asked permission to marry the child, and her parents arranged the marriage for profit. Her uncle Abdel attempted to intervene on her behalf.
Nada is one of eight children, many of whom have been promised to potential suitors by the family. Her eighteen-year-old sister has been engaged multiple times in a bridal scheme the family uses to collect the down payment on their children.
Nada had an aunt who was married at age thirteen, and after a year of marriage she lit herself on fire in a suicide protest. Nada’s uncle Abdel panicked when he discovered she was to be married off, and attempted to ward off the suitor. The engagement was cancelled, and Nada’s family was not happy. They asked for her to be returned home to them. She returned, but escaped soon after back to her uncle.
In a video wherein Nada speaks out about her experience, she explains to her family that she is “done with [them],” and that she would rather kill herself than be married against her will. Please sign this petition to support this courageous little girl, and the countless others like her in Yemen and around the world.
Dear Nada al-Ahdal,
You are so incredibly brave. It takes a lot of courage to stand up for your rights and what you believe in, especially when there’s so much at stake, but you did it. When you stood up for yourself, you stood up for all the little girls in Yemen and all over the world who are forced to marry or forced to do anything they don’t want to do.
Not many people your age would be so brave, and we must continue to fight for the rights of those who are unable to fight for themselves. Please continue to be so courageous, you are a remarkable girl!
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Screenshot via youtube