Reem Al Numery: 2010 TIME 100 Most Influential People


April 29, 2010

TIME has included Reem Al Numery (pix below) in their top 100 influential People of the Year. Gloria Steinham wrote the short article.

(Khaled al-Hilaly)

If you aren’t aware, Yemeni Reem Al Numery was 12 when she was forced to marry her 30 y/o cousin. Her father used her as a means of revenge against her mother who had left him.

Mothers have no parental rights.

But Reem didn’t want to get married. When she made her wishes known – her father gagged her. When she told him she wanted to stay in school – he tied her up.

And when the day came, as she thought of ways to burn her wedding dress, she was forced to marry her cousin – a man 18 years her senior. Her new “husband” then proceeded to force himself on her. When she protested – he dragged her by her hair and alternately choked, bit and beat her and then celebrated his Muslim manhood by holding her down and raping her.

Reem fought back. After twice attempting suicide, she went to the judge and demanded a divorce. In order to do so, she had to pay off the husband who had beaten and raped her. She prevailed and now lives with her mother and brother. See update.

Last year, Reem was honored with the State Department’s Women of Courage Award, along with 8 other amazing women (follow link), but she was not allowed to travel to receive it.

Update: Just looked for the most recent post – Reem today – but I see I never posted it. She and Nujoud Ali (the courageous 10 y/o from Yemen who also successfully demanded a divorce) spoke out about the raping to death of a 13 y/o Yemeni girl, Elham Mahdi. Seems I didn’t post that update either or the 2010 recipients of the Women of Courage Awards. Will find them in the drafts.

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