Sheikh Hamoud Hashim al-Tharihi is general secretary of the increasingly influential Vice and Virtue Committee and a member of the Islah Party. He cites the example of the Prophet Muhammad who married six-year-old Aisha..."Because this happened to the Prophet, we cannot tell people that it is prohibited to marry at an early age," he argues. Moreover, he claims it would harm society by spreading vice.
BBC World Service, Assignment
A narrow path leads up from the mountain town of Jibla, through century-old houses, and turns into a mud track before reaching the door of Arwa's home.
Arwa is making history by requesting a divorce aged just nine
The nine year old child lives with her parents and six brothers and sisters in a humble, two-roomed house overlooking the mosque built by her namesake, Queen Arwa, who ruled Yemen 900 years ago.
Jibla village has been in the news since Arwa's request
After visiting their home and seeing Arwa and her 15-year-old sister, he opted for the younger child. Abdul Ali says the man promised he would wait for the girl to reach puberty before calling her to his house but then changed his mind and came to live with them.
Reem wants a divorce and then a college education
She was imprisoned for 11 days in his house and tried to kill herself with a kitchen knife before being rescued by her mother.