Eight-year-old Nojoud Muhammed Nasser filed a lawsuit in Yemen against her father who forced her to marry a 30-year-old man. Nasser arrived to court by herself because no one in her family defended her against her abusive husband and father.
Nasser told the Yemen Times, "My father beat me and told me that I must marry this man, and if I did not, I would be raped and no law and no sheikh in this country would help me. I refused but I couldn’t stop the marriage. I asked and begged my mother, father, and aunt to help me to get divorced. They answered, 'We can do nothing. If you want you can go to court by yourself.' So this is what I have done."
Shatha Ali Nasser, a lawyer in the Supreme Court, said that the Nojoud case is an excellent opportunity to push legislation forward against child marriage. Nasser told the Yemen Times, "There are hundreds of [cases like] Nujoud who have been subjected to sexual abuse by mature men. The problem is that there is no law to punish the father who marries off the child, the sheikh who allows the marriage, or the husband who takes the child home to serve him as wife."
According to Saba News, a 2006 study revealed that 52.1 percent of Yemeni girls are forced into child marriage.
Media Resources: Saba News 04/02/08; Yemen Times 04/13/08, 04/09/08
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .