Photo: Says.com
Photo: Says.com

The Father of the Year award goes to a man from Yemen who set his 15-year-old daughter on fire after she contacted her fiance.

According to Emirates247, police arrested the 35-year-old man after his daughter died in a remote village in the central Taiz province. Yemen has already been in the spotlight after an eight-year-old girl died from internal bleeding on her wedding night last month.

“The father committed this heinous crime on the pretext that his daughter had been keeping contacts with her fiance,” the police said on their website several days ago.

It is believed that the father had caught his teenage daughter chatting on the phone with her fiance. In fury, he set her on fire. In parts of Yemen, traditional tribal custom prohibits men and women from contacting each other before marriage. The customs also believe that a young bride can be shaped into an obedient wife who is able to bear more children and be kept away from temptation.

What’s even more alarming to hear, is that a father has the right to burn his daughter to death in Yemen. Known as “honor killing”, it is the act where a family member is murdered for allegedly “shaming” the family with un-Islamic behavior.

International rights groups like the Human Rights Watch have criticized the practice of underage marriage among Yeminis – who marry off their daughters below 18 prompted by poverty and concern about “family honor”.

This case is just another horrible reminder how young women in parts of the world still struggle to survive in extremist patriarchal society.

[Sources 1, 2]