Yemen is a poor yet influential country in the middle east that the USA has tried to make nice with in an effort to get at whatever "enemy" is most trendy. Due to negative publicity related to alleged al-Qaeda support and a few newsworthy cases, Yemen wants to enact a law proclaiming a minimum age to marry. Back in the day there was one, but conservative clerics shot it down with the future of girls all over the region.
Yemenite child brides came to the international media when an 8 year old bravely walked into a courtroom solo and demanded a divorce from a husband who was in his thirties. She was granted the divorce, miffing local imams and tribal elders. You see, those old perverts believe that a very young bride can be molded into being a fearful, obedient companion who will bear oddles of babies and never stray. And the younger the bride, the higher the price. Any opposition, like a minimum age would be unislamic. And those Imams would be 100% CORRECT.
Under Islam girls can be promised to a man shortly after birth just as Aisha was promised to Muhammed. They can be married off at 6 because the beloved mother of Islam was. Muhammed was considered merciful for not deflowering his favourite bride until she was 9 while he was well into his fifties. Killing or mistreating girl children is prohibited . How else would there be enough women for the 4 wives that good Muslim men are permitted? There are specific mentions of prepubescent girls in divorce decrees, so it was obviously common practice at the time of Muhammed in Islam as well as in some other religious factions. Where the difference lies is that Islamic beliefs are considered immutable, and to progress is apostasy.
The late Ayatollah Khomeini was noted for telling his faithful that marrying a girl prior to puberty was a divine blessing. Thusly, girls in Iran must be covered at age 6 because they are now sex objects that could tempt the menfolk. The past leaders knew of the dangers of marrying girls before maturity. Thusly, any girl who dies during childbirth is given a first-class ticket to eternal paradise. Some consolation.
This is what happens when women become the property of religions that refuse to change. Deviating from the texts of yore in many faiths is considered a great sin, prohibiting advancement and promoting regressive social policies. All of the civil rights we have fought for will be reversed by the reactionary voting in of people who see themselves as servants of a higher being versus their people.It is not just Islam. Freedom is threatened every time a priest proclaims that a rape victim cannot be given emergency contraception or a rabbi voices the opinion that gays should be executed. We have not only a right to freedom of religion, but freedom from religion. Religious beliefs of a few cannot and should not be used as a weapon to control a populace lest we become Yemen with a cross instead of a crescent.
Sidenote : The Khomeini book of Sharia law, Tahrirolvasileh gets worse. In it, there are even proscriptions on the rules regarding permissible sex with infants. (It's all good as long as it's only anal) Google it.