Nada Al-Ahdal: You’re Brave For Standing Up To Your Forced Marriage

Tue, July 23, 2013 12:48pm EST by 4 Comments
Nada Al-Ahdal Evaded Marriage
Courtesy of YouTube

With her incredibly courageous decision to flee her home to avoid being forced into a marriage, 11-year-old Nada spoke out about her traumatic ordeal —  and inspired people around the world. Watch her incredible video.

Nada Al-Ahdal, 11, fled her family in Yemen when she learned that they were going to force her into marriage. Standing up for herself and countless other young women who may find themselves voiceless, Nada delivered an eloquent statement telling her story and thanking journalists that hit YouTube on July 8.

11-Year-Old Nada Al-Ahdal: ‘This Is Not Normal For Innocent Children’

Nada, you are an absolutely beautiful, well-spoken, brave young girl. It is great that you stood up for yourself when you did not feel safe. It takes tremendous courage to leave yourself vulnerable in such a scary situation. Leaving your family and standing up for your rights as a woman is incredibly difficult — and so is making your story public — but your story has touched people all over the world.

Nada Al-Ahdal took the serious step of filing a complaint with the police against her mother. “I told them I was 11 years old and that she wants to marry me off,” says Nada in her interview on Memri TV.

“What about the innocence of childhood,” you asked, in response to your terrible situation. So many children are denied their chance to live carefree and innocently. It is such a relief that you were able to save yourself from a life you did not want by fleeing to your uncle’s home — but you are still acting wise beyond your years. Not many eleven year olds would be able to make such adult decisions and act on them, or put their experiences to words as powerfully as you did.

Because of your actions and your thoughful words, you have inspired people across the world.

Nada Al-Ahdal Stands Up For Children’s Right To Education

Not only do you stand up for young women being forced into marriages that they don’t want, you understand the great importance of receiving an education. You understand that if you got married at the young age of eleven, you would not be able to pursue your studies, which would severely limit your options in adulthood.

“I would have had no life, no education. Don’t they have any compassion?” Nada reflects upon her decision in the video statement.

The world needs more wonderful young people like you, Nada. You put a face — and a thoughtful voice — to these issues and make people understand what is going on. You inspire other women to take action when they feel they are a victim of injustice.

“I’m better off dead. I’d rather die,” than go through with this marriage, Nada said in her statement. You shared stories of women who weren’t so fortunate as to escape their own terrible situations, but you need to keep sharing those stories. You are such a wonderful girl who is destined to make big changes. We need you around to speak up for yourself and others and challenge injustices.

WATCH: 11-Year Old Yemeni Girl Nada Al-Ahdal Flees Home To Avoid Forced Marriage

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— Kristine Hope Kowalski

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