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Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced, Supporting Family with Book Proceeds

This tiny little 10 year old girl, who knew she didn’t want to be married, and stuck to her guns, has had a life-long effect, changing the laws in Yemen so that a woman must now be 18 to marry. On the other hand, if the legal age before was age 15, how on earth was she allowed to marry at age 10?

Divorced Before Puberty: Former Child Bride
New Book
by Amy Hatch (Subscribe to Amy Hatch’s posts) Mar 5th 2010 10:30AM

From AOL News: Parenting

Divorced at age 10. Credit: Amazon
Nujood Ali walked into a Yemeni courtroom and asked to see a judge, because she wanted a divorce. This may seem like a common tale of marital dissolution, but Nujood Ali was just 10 years old when she defied the cultural traditions and walked out on the husband who was more than 20 years her senior.

Nujood, now 12, chronicles her journey from child bride to celebrated hero in her new autobiography, “I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced.” Ghostwritten by French newspaper reporter Delphine Minoui, the book details how the young girl shocked citizens of her native Yemen after she walked out on her arranged marriage to a motorcycle delivery man. Nujood’s father married her off to the man for a dowry of $250, and for two months she begged her husband every day to return her to her family.

He refused, and so Nujood decided to take action. One afternoon, when her mother sent her on an errand, Nujood took a bus into the crowded capital city of Sanaa. She then hailed a taxi to the courthouse. Not knowing what else to do, she sat on a bench outside a courtroom all day, until a judge noticed her lingering in the empty hallway. He asked what she needed, and the girl said simply, “I came for a divorce.”

Now, two years later, the girl tells Nicholas D. Kristof of The New York Times that she is back in her home land and is supporting her family with the royalties from her book, which spent five weeks at the top of the bestseller list in France. Her brothers, who once criticized her for shaming their family, seem to have no problem with their sister now that Nujood is the family breadwinner, Kristof writes.

“They’re very nice to her now,” Khadija al-Salami, a filmmaker who mentors Nujood, tells the Times. “They treat her like a queen.”

Nujood’s story isn’t just one in which a single child takes a stand and changes her life. The preteen’s courage set off a domino effect in Yemen, where very young girls are routinely sold into marriage. Following Nujood’s successful divorce petition, two girls, ages 9 and 12, also filed to legally end their marriages. Her ordeal also prompted Yemen’s lawmakers to increase the age of consent for marriage from 15 to 18.

Nujood has been honored and feted by journalists in many countries, and, on a visit to Paris last year, even met with France’s Human Rights Minister, Rama Yada, and Urban Affairs Minister Fadela Amara, with whom she discussed the problem of child marriage.

What are Nujood’s feelings on marriage now? She tells Time magazine she “no longer thinks about marriage.”

March 8, 2010 - Posted by | Biography, Books, Character, Cultural, Family Issues, Living Conditions, Marriage, Women's Issues |


  1. Issn’t that unbearably sad? ”She no longer thinks of marriage”
    That is the result of the crime of raping a child… Their hearts and souls are destroyed and often they are cut off from a future where they could have had love and a fullfilling relationship.

    Comment by Aafke | March 8, 2010 | Reply

  2. I allready cringed when I read the title of this post.
    It’s her f*cking money and ther f*cking family should not take a penny of it if they had any sense of honour of course they are just a bunch of leeches.
    That money should go to her and her education and future exclusively!!!! 😡

    Comment by Aafke | March 8, 2010 | Reply

  3. Aafke, I don’t think we can imagine a family so poverty stricken that the $250 they got for her ‘dowry’ at age 10 probably fed the family for half a year. It doesn’t make it right, but I think sometimes these things happen because people are desperate, so they sacrifice one child that the others in the family might survive. This time, the sacrifice said ‘not me!’ and escaped the horrible marriage.

    It would be nice to think that this little girl is once again in school. . .

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 8, 2010 | Reply

  4. And they have to be really nice to her now: as she’s the one bringing home the bacon! 😈

    Comment by Aafke | March 8, 2010 | Reply

  5. This are all lies by the Western media, who want to oppress Arabs and Muslims to benefit Israel. Everything the West does in the region is meant to support Israel, including writing a book that makes Muslims look bad. I believe that Iran is the most liberated country in the world because it supports women in the context of Islam and according to the sacred words of the one true Prophet, Mohammad (PBUH).

    Comment by Cyrus Safdari | March 8, 2010 | Reply

  6. So, Cyrus, you believe it’s OK for a 10 year old girl to marry a man she doesn’t want to marry? That is not my understanding of Islam.

    You know, of course, there are now a lot of Iranian-Americans?

    Comment by intlxpatr | March 8, 2010 | Reply

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