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Too Young to Wed

Stephanie Sinclair

Created: 2011

Nujood Ali stunned the world in 2008 by obtaining a divorce at age ten in Yemen, striking a blow against forced marriage.


Nujood Ali’s courageous act of seeking a divorce is part of what inspired Stephanie Sinclair to travel to Yemen for her child marriage project. Nujood was ten when she fled her abusive husband, a man in his 30s. Defying her father’s shouts that the family’s honor depended upon her fulfilling her wifely duties, she took a taxi to the courthouse in Sanaa, Yemen to seek a divorce. The girl's courageous act—and the landmark legal battle that ensued—turned her into an international heroine for women's rights.

Nujood is pictured here with her younger sisters a few years after her divorce. “She was feisty and very strong. I could see a stubborn streak in her that both serves her well, and sometimes can get her in to trouble,” Sinclair remembers.