A nightmare threatens Yemeni society: corruption of girls [Archives:2004/726/Opinion]

April 5 2004

By Maha Omr Abdullah
Social expert
Juvenile Court- Aden

The deviation of girls and teenagers from social norms has not been a problem threatening Yemeni society as a whole. But it is one of the serious problems facing society for several reasons, most importantly due to the break up of families, the low income of many families, negligence in raising girls accustomed to ethics, good values and traditions and not giving the girls their social rights as human beings.
Truancy, the spread of stealing and criminal behavior as a career and the sale and promotion of illegal drugs are considered contributing factors to this problem.
The behaviour of girls is one of the most difficult problems facing families in the home and teachers at schools. The girls of today will be the mothers of tomorrow. If they are unfit to bear the potential responsibility of raising well-mannered children, the next generation will be drug addicts, thieves and criminals.
Most of the troubled girls end up having children, as a result of having sex in illegal relationships, with no real fathers to protect them. There are women in Al-Mansourah Prison with their children, without having any male support. The prison becomes more like a school to learn other means of deviation and criminality.

What is the solution?
The solution lays in the first place to the family. A good mother can achieve what prisons and reformatories are unable to achieve. However, such correctional houses are still important and crucial, if equipped with services such as water and electricity facilities and the means to reforms the girls. But the situation of girls deteriorates, especially after the amendment of the law to change the minimum age of girls in the correctional facilities to 18 instead of 15 years old, in order to meet the articles of International Children Rights Agreement, of which Yemen is signatory.