In America, we tend to advise to girls to wait before getting married. It is less common to hear of a girl younger than fifteen getting married under any circumstances. However that is not the case in many Middle Eastern countries. Many times a family will arrange a marriage of a daughter much younger than fifteen to avoid the girl being kidnapped and being sold into the hands of human traffickers. Other times a girl’s marriage is arranged to avoid having to feed her. I had heard of marriages of girls twelve and thirteen years old becoming married, but I never heard of a ten year old girl, until I read I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali with Delphine Minoui.
I Am Nujood is a book written to both illuminated the culture of Yemen and other Middle Eastern countries and to highlight the strength of little girl who had to face that culture that says woman are not equal. Nujood was given in marriage by her father and the men of her family to a man of thirty years. He promised to not touch her until one year after her puberty. However, he attacked her almost immediately and violated her nightly while beating her. He attempted to break her but Nujood managed to escape and faced the daunting task of asking for a divorce in a country that did not value woman.
If you are a mother, a daughter, a sister, a Christian – I encourage to read this book and cry out for all women and girls around the world. God created us, male and female, in His image and rather than turn your eyes and mind from the violence against women and girls because it is not in our own home, we must educate ourselves and stand united to protect His children – male and female.
I read this book as part of the United Methodist Women’s Reading Program for 2012. The book is published by Read It Forward and is available on Amazon.com.