Seyaj – Sana’a – April 27, 2014

Seyaj reaffirmed its demand to the Yemeni government and parliament to approve legislation establishing a minimum age for marriage for girls of no less than 16 years, provided that the Yemeni legislator observes the idea of societal gradualism while crafting the bill.

In a letter addressed to the speaker and members of Parliament, Seyaj said: In light of social and economic conditions, we propose that the minimum age for marrying a girl be 16, and for those defying the legislation to be penalized, whether they’re guardians or prospective spouses of the victim.

Seyaj also called on the Yemeni government to address the reasons behind child marriage, especially in rural regions, in which over 70% of the total population of the country resides. 

For example, the majority of rural girls do not receive their rights to basic and secondary education, which is one of the most significant reasons, along with low societal awareness, the failure to record all births in the civil registry, and the unfavorable social culture that views marrying off girls as means of preserving honor.

Seyaj appreciates the efforts made by the Ministries of Legal Affairs and Human Rights in particular, and the efforts made by many national and international governmental and non-governmental institutions in addressing the problem.

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