This passed weekend, 12-year old Sally al-Sahabi was granted a divorce from her 26-year old husband. According to reports from Kyrgyzstan News.Net, Sally’s lawyer told reporters that the only reason the divorce was granted was because al-Sahabi’s husband requested it.
When she was only 10-years old, and after only a week of marriage, the then pseudonymed child bride began attempting to escape her marital home due to “poor treatment”, according to IRIN. Her attempts to leave were successful several months later, but she was unable to obtain a divorce as her father could not afford to pay back the $1,000 USD dowry.
The ruling that granted the divorce comes on the heels of debate that re-started several weeks ago within the Yemen government to set the minimum age for marriage at 17-years old. Having divided the country, this debate reached it’s peak in February of 2009, when the majority of Parliament approved the law, however it was declined by the Sharia Committee. Reports state that Parliament will once again bring this issue to table in the next several weeks.