The 11 year old Yemen girl, Nada Al-Ahdal who ran away from home after her parents promised her hand in marriage, has spoken out online saying ‘she’s not an item for sale.’
Nada said she was forced to run away and live with her uncle after she was promised to another man.
“They told me that I am engaged, and that my fiancé had already paid them money and brought the engagement ring. They said that I couldn’t leave and even threatened to kill me if I went back to my uncle. I’m not an item for sale, I’m a human being and I would rather die than get married at this age. I’ve decided that I have two choices: to leave or to die. So I chose the first” Nada said in a video that was released online July 8th
Nada’s saving grace is her uncle who has refused to let her family marry her off.
Her uncle told reporters:
When I heard about the groom, I panicked. Nada was not even 11 years old; she was exactly 10 years and 3 months. I could not allow her to be married off and have her future destroyed, especially since her aunt was forced to marry at 13 and burnt herself. I did all I could to prevent that marriage. I called the groom and told him Nada was no good for him. I told him she did not wear the veil and he asked if things were going to remain like that. I said ‘yes, and I agree because she chose it. I also told him that she liked singing and asked if he would remain engaged to her.‘
Nada now stays with her uncle, her father’s brother, who is against child marriage.
According to a report in 2010 by the Social Affairs Ministry, more than 25% of females in Yemen marry before age 15, and it’s mostly because of the poverty level in the country. Parents give their daughters away for profit.