Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The lives of girls

A disturbing, yet courageous, story is circulating the blogosphere. It is the story of Nojoud Muhammed Nasser.

Two months ago Nojoud's father, Muhammed Nasser, forced her to marry, against her consent, Faez Ali Thamer. Muhammed had beaten and threatened his daughter with rape if she did not comply with the marriage. Despite her pleas, her family would not help her. They told her she could go to court herself. On 2 April, Nojoud walked into the the Sana'a West Court seeking a divorce from her husand, citing sexual and domestic abuse.

Nojoud says,

“He used to do bad things to me, and I had no idea as to what a marriage is. I would run from one room to another in order to escape, but in the end he would catch me and beat me and then continued to do what he wanted. I cried so much but no one listened to me. One day I ran away from him and came to the court and talked to them.

“Whenever I wanted to play in the yard he beat me and asked me to go to the bedroom with him. This lasted for two months. He was too tough with me, and whenever I asked him for mercy, he beat me and slapped me and then used me. I just want to have a respectful life and divorce him.”

Nojoud's husband is 30 years old. Nojoud is eight years old.

Nojoud Muhammed Nasser

Unable to bring an action before the Court as she is underage according to Yemeni law, her uncle has begun to act as her guardian. She will also be sent to Dar Al-Rahama, a NGO that works with children, where she will be able to receive an education.

Islam has been given a bad rap in the West, in part because of stories such as the above. But the West is not so innocent.

There is a disturbing and growing trend in the West with the sexualisation of children, particularly of girls. Young girls are being encouraged to adopt the ways of women, especially in fashion and beauty standards. The reader may be aware of the recent story about Monika Jagaciak, the 14 year old Polish girl who was to model at Australian Fashion Week, before the organisers had a change of heart and decided not to employ her. However, the reader may not be aware of a trend in the United States of pre-pubescent girls being taken by their mothers to beauty salons and spas for treatment. Girls as young as eight are having their eyebrows waxed and plucked so they look like supermodels. More disturbing is the trend for Brazilian waxes for pre-pubescent and pubescent girls.

Yes, you read correct: girls too young to even have pubic hair are having their genitalia waxed.

1 comment:

  1. How brainwashed must a family be to put their child in such a situation? This isn't marriage, it's slavery. Grooming the child from a young age to be fully submissive by using abuse and religion.